Californians Getting More Hydrogen Stations To Prepare For Fuel Cell Cars Influx

As hydrogen fuel cell cars are starting to make their presence felt in California, True Zero stations are being installed in existing filling stations in an attempt to make hydrogen customers feel more at ease.

True Zero is owned by FirstElement Fuel, a startup company headed by Joel Ewanick of former GM & Hyundai fame. Though at first the company announced plans to build 19 stations in California in 2015, permitting and equipment issues did manage to slow things down.

“These issues happen,” said Ewanick in an interview with Autonews. “If we were opening a Starbucks we’d still have issues.”

Out of the 19 promised stations, FirstElement currently has only 13 True Zero stations operational, with most of them positioned in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. If they manage to build the other 6 stations by early next year, True Zero will own a dominant share of the market in California – as there are just six other competing retail hydrogen stations.

Timing is important because the car manufacturers are moving ahead with production models such as the Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Tucson and Honda’s second-gen Clarity FCV, set to go on sale this year.

Toyota has already sold 210 Mirai sedans in California, while Hyundai has about 100 fuel cell-powered Tucson leased to customers.

While these numbers don’t really resonate on a large scale, large automakers such as Toyota and Honda are looking to do whatever they can in order to make owning a hydrogen-powered car as good an experience as possible for their customers.

“For automakers, what they get is a reliable customer experience,” added Ewanick. “The last thing they want to do is put these cars on the road and have an experience that reflects poorly on the brand.”

Toyota and Honda have already provided $13.8 million in loans for building True Zero stations, while FirstElement has also received $27.6 million in grants from the California Energy Commission, plus another $2 million in grants from regional air-quality management districts.


Nanny No More: Simple Hack Lets You Do Donuts In A Tesla Model S

A bug in Tesla’s sofware lets owners disable stability control and regenerative braking, but without the electronic safety net, they’re out there on their own.

2017 Ford GT Comes With An Eye-Watering $1.3 Million Price Tag

Ford GTs are slowly entering the used car market after their two-year no-sale contracts are starting to expire.

2020 Toyota Granvia MPV Gets AUD $62,990 Starting Price

With space for the whole family, the Granvia will launch in Australia on October 14 in six- and eight-seat versions.

Jeep Cherokee Gets T-Boned After Running Through Red Light

According to the police, the driver of the Jeep was distracted and didn’t notice the red light; thankfully, no one was seriously hurt.

EPA Revokes California’s Emissions Waiver, Launches “One National Program Rule”

States will now longer be able to set their own fuel economy and emission standards.

One-Off Toyota Century Convertible Is Fit For An Emperor

The Century Convertible will make its debut at the coronation ceremony for Emperor Naruhito on October 22nd.

VW Updates Car-Net App Offering Remote Start, Other Connected Features

VW’s new smartphone application is available for free for five years with each new vehicle and will be updated to communicate with smart home devices.

Mysterious Lamborghini Prototype Spied, Could Be The Huracan Performante Evo

Huracan Performante Evo is expected to have a new touchscreen infotainment system and an upgraded V10 engine.

Next-Gen Mercedes-AMG GT Could Be A Hybrid With All-Wheel Drive

Thanks to an EQ Boost starter-alternator, higher end versions of the next-generation GT could have 650+ hp.

2020 Jaguar E-Pace U.S. Lineup Welcomes $46,400 Checkered Flag Edition

For the 2020MY, the E-Pace also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the range as standard.