Fuel-cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen emit no tailpipe pollution.

With hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) expected to play a large role in California’s transition to a zero-emission transportation future, the California Energy Commission is supporting the rollout of an initial network of hydrogen refueling stations. The Energy Commission has awarded FirstElement Fuel Inc. $27.5 million to design and install 19 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations spanning from Lake Tahoe to the San Francisco Bay Area, and Santa Barbara to San Diego. FirstElement installed a refueling station at Harris Ranch in Coalinga, enabling FCEV drivers to travel freely between Northern and Southern California.

FirstElement’s hydrogen refueling stations are installed with a capacity of at least 180 kilograms per day of dispensed hydrogen, which can fuel 35 to 60 FCEVs daily and can support a community of up to 250 FCEVs. Fuel-cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen emit 58 percent lower levels of greenhouse gases than conventional cars using traditional gasoline.

To date, 16 of the proposed 19 stations are open and dispensing hydrogen fuel to the public. The remaining three stations are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

See more information about FirstElement Hydrogen Refueling Stations.

Installation of hydrogen refueling station Installation of Hydrogen refueling station Hydrogent refueling station

Photos courtesy of FirstElement Fuel Inc.



  • Each station, with a 180 kilogram-per-day capacity, can displace approximately 450 gallons of gasoline use per day, reducing 4.95 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from displaced gasoline usage.

  • An estimated 15 to 20 temporary, full-time jobs were created for the design and construction of each proposed station. An additional two to four full-time jobs were created to operate and maintain the network of stations.

Type of Project

Hydrogen Refueling Stations

ARFVTP Award Amount



In progress, with 16 stations open. Remaining three stations expected to open by end of 2017


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