Super car

California sets the standard for US fuel cell cars

The hydrogen light vehicle market in the US is concentrated almost entirely in the state of California, where the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) has been promoting uptake since 1999. This industry/government collaboration works to ensure that vehicles, hydrogen stations and industry regulations are aligned as uptake grows. Members include a wide range of players across the ecosystem, including big names like Cummins, Daimler, Honda, Hyzon, Hyundai, Faurecia, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Shell, and Toyota.

Although the partnership has been in existence for more than 20 years, the light vehicle fuel cell ecosystem remains niche. Today there are around 14,200 fuel cell cars registered in California, and 56 hydrogen stations at which they can fuel. Just three brands—Honda, Toyota and Hyundai—offer fuel cell cars for sale. However, the partnership has been busy and achieved several important milestones over the years, such as bringing together stakeholders to agree on a common fuelling mechanism. It also developed a foundational plan for rolling out hydrogen cars and fuelling infrastructure in tandem and produced a number of action plans, vision documents and roadmaps.

The state is bullish in its outlook: the California Air Resources Board (CARB) anticipates that 25% of the new light vehicle market will be fuel cell by 2050. If that target is to be realised, the CaFCP has plenty more work ahead.

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