The California Air Resources Board has released the 2018 issue of its Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development, pursuant to the requirements of AB 8 (2013). This report is the fifth annual publication.
The report describes “a significant shift in momentum” in fuel cell vehicle deployment and fuel station development.
Growth of the on-the-road FCEV fleet has continued to accelerate year-over-year, with 4,411 FCEVs registered to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as of 4 April. The most recent industry estimates indicate a total of 4,819 vehicles deployed through May of 2018.
The hydrogen fueling network has gained seven additional Open-Retail stations, for totals of 36 Open-Retail and 28 additional funded stations.
In January, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order (EO) B-48-18. Among other provisions, the order sets an additional hydrogen station network development target of 200 stations by 2025—double the current target in Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8; Perea, Chapter 201, Statues of 2013) but set only two years later.
The EO additionally sets a target for 5 million ZEVs by 2030; FCEVs are expected to represent a significant portion of this future ZEV fleet.
Current and projected on-road FCEV populations and comparison to previously collected and reported projections.
CARB’s current projections are 23,600 FCEVs on the road by 2021 and 47,200 FCEVs on the road by 2024. This is the largest projected FCEV fleet reported to date, even greater than the previous peak of 43,600 in 2022.
Projected minimum renewable content of hydrogen dispensed in California’s light-duty fueling network.
However, CARB notes, these volumes are not yet large enough to exhibit a clear pathway to meet a 1,000,000 FCEV target by 2030.
As the analyses of this report indicate, the culmination of these recent developments is a refreshed vision of California’s hydrogen transportation future. This new vision builds on the extensive experience gained within the state and acknowledges the potential for long-term industry development goals. Due to these demonstrated successes and continued State support, there has been an inflection point in the conversations around hydrogen fuel and FCEVs within California. The consensus outlook from industry and public stakeholders is increasingly positive, and California stands well-positioned for FCEVs to step into the role they must ultimately play in order for the State’s long-term GHG reduction goals to become a reality.—Annual Report
The Annual Evaluations provide CARB’s latest assessment of California’s on-road fuel cell electric vehicle fleet, auto manufacturer projections for future deployment volumes in California, and progress in development of California’s hydrogen fueling station network. CARB’s analyses and recommendations for new station locations, capacities, and technical capabilities are also discussed in the reports.
The 2018 edition is released in concert with the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s The California Fuel Cell Revolution, providing technical background and CHIT-based analyses for the 2030 goals presented in the public-private organization’s report.