For Immediate Release: October 10, 2013
Media Contact: Brook Taylor (GO-Biz) (916) 322-0667
or Adam Gottlieb (Energy Commission) (916) 654-4989
GO-Biz Announces Initiative to Streamline Permitting of
New Hydrogen and Electric Fueling Stations
State of California Partners with Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and
Other Auto Manufacturers for 2015 Roll Out
SACRAMENTO - California state economic development director Kish Rajan today announced an effort to streamline the permitting process for zero emission vehicle fueling stations and significantly expand California's hydrogen and electric vehicle capacity.
"California is a world leader in zero emission technology and our infrastructure needs to reflect that dynamism," said director Rajan. "GO-Biz is partnering with several automotive companies to ensure California has the necessary infrastructure to meet the goal of delivering more hydrogen and electric vehicles to market."
Automobile manufacturers plan to roll out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the 2015 to 2017 timeframe and California's share of the U.S. market for plug-in electric vehicles currently stands at nearly 40 percent.
"When Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle comes to market in 2015, a convenient and reliable fueling infrastructure must be ready for our customers," said Jim Pisz, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. North American business strategy corporate manager. "Toyota is excited to partner with GO-Biz and the Governor's Office to ensure the necessary hydrogen infrastructure is in place for the successful launch of fuel cell technology in California."
GO-Biz will work with local, state and federal government agencies, hydrogen station developers, station hosts, electric vehicle regional planners, installers, and hosts, in addition to the automobile companies and other interested parties, to facilitate and accelerate the permitting and establishment of both the hydrogen fueling and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. "California is working to transform our transportation fleet with a goal of 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025," said California Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. "A key component of achieving that is establishing the necessary infrastructure. To support that goal, the Energy Commission established this new position at the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development to spearhead the effort."
The California Energy Commission voted unanimously to provide $300,000 to GO-Biz over the next two years to fund a position to spearhead the effort. The position will report directly to the Deputy Director of Permitting at GO-Biz and proactively engage state and local partners to identify and eliminate barriers to development.
"Hydrogen-powered electric vehicles represent the next generation of electric vehicle technology," said John Krafcik, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai Motor America. "Their refueling speed and range will delight their owners, and we'll all share the environmental benefits. We're excited to be working with California to bring H2EV technology and infrastructure to market as quickly as possible."
Recognizing the great benefits of zero-emission vehicles, as well as the challenges to expanding this market, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order in March 2012 to encourage the development and success of zero-emission vehicles. This Executive Order directs state government to meet a series of milestones toward a long-term target of 1.5 million ZEVs on California's roadways by 2025.
"Mercedes-Benz applauds the California Energy Commission for funding a project manager position to fast track the deployment of hydrogen fueling stations in California," said general manager for Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Ronald Grasman. "We believe that GO-Biz is the right partner to coordinate this effort, and we look forward to working with GO-Biz, the Energy Commission and the State of California to implement a robust, hydrogen infrastructure to support all of our common goals."
Both hydrogen and electricity support California's plan to diversify transportation fuels. The executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership echoed that sentiment. "Fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel are part of America's energy future," said Catherine Dunwoody, executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. "GO-Biz and the State of California are showcasing the investments that government and industry have made in bringing FCEVs to the commercial market."
The initiative began earlier this year when GO-Biz was approached by several automotive companies - including Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and General Motors - which identified a need for additional hydrogen and electric fueling stations to support plans to increase their zero emission fleets.
"Honda is very enthusiastic about a new position within GO-Biz to promote hydrogen infrastructure," said Robert Bienenfeld, assistant Vice President of environment and energy strategy for American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "Hydrogen refueling stations are essential for the introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles. Honda plans to introduce a next generation FCEV in 2015, and customers need to know that the fuel will be there. Governor Brown's support is essential to our success."
# # #
GO-Biz serves as California's office for economic development and offers a range of services to business owners. Those services include attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, important informational briefings and much more. For more information visit: www.business.ca.gov.