Toyota Pledges Financial Support to Development of Hydrogen Refueling Stations in CA
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have seemingly been in the works for a while, but finding a way to build the stations that will fuel these innovative machines has been a real hindrance to their development. Back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), senior vice president of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc (TMS), Bob Carter, pledged his support towards building a network of hydrogen refueling stations to make the widespread use of hydrogen-powered vehicles a reality.
Four months later, Carter remains true to his word. TMS and the Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) recently announced that they will join with FirstElement Fuel Inc. (FE) to help develop and maintain a network of hydrogen refueling stations across the state of California. One of these stations will be located at the TMS-owned Toyota San Francisco Regional Office and Parts Distribution Center in San Ramon, powering commuters traveling between Sacramento, San Joaquin, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Along with the promised financial aid from TMS, the California Energy Commision (CEC) will pony up $200 million to help fund the development of 100 hydrogen refueling stations, meaning we could soon see production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become more mainstream. Of course, it’ll take a while to build the stations in California, and that’s just one state, so making this technology a reality for drivers across the country is still a number of years off. However, this is definitely an important step towards the next generation of eco-friendly and efficient vehicles.
In a press release issued by Toyota, Carter commented that “The first few years here in California will be a critical period for hydrogen fuel cell technology. California has stepped up with the offer to invest $200 million dollars to build 100 stations, and through this financial arrangement with FirstElement, Toyota is showing its full commitment to deploy zero emission fuel cell vehicles here in California. Perhaps most importantly, we are showing the future owners of this amazing technology that Toyota is helping to ensure that hydrogen refueling will be available, no matter what car brand is on the hood.”