FirstElement Fuel Inc has entered into a renewable hydrogen supply agreement with Air Liquide, which in turn will invest more than $150 Million to build a new liquid hydrogen production facility. The agreement complements the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and support the hydrogen merchant market across the state.
In addition to the long-term hydrogen supply agreement, Air Liquide has also signaled its intent to make an equity investment into FirstElement Fuel to assist the California-based company in further expansion of its retail hydrogen station network. “It’s yet another indication of the momentum for hydrogen as a replacement for gasoline”, expressed Founder & CEO of FirstElement Fuel Inc, Joel Ewanick.
“This new investment in hydrogen production accelerate the deployment of new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles planned by automotive manufacturers like Toyota, Honda and other leading OEMs”, said Executive Vice President & Executive Committee Member of Air Liquide S.A, Michael Graff.
The arrangement will enable FirstElement Fuel to provide renewable hydrogen in its 19 retail hydrogen stations. The company is currently working on the construction of 12 more new sites. The hydrogen stations span from San Diego, throughout Orange County, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and out to Santa Barbara and Lake Tahoe.
California leading fuel cell EVs development
The State of California has positioned itself as the global leader in fuel cell electric vehicle deployment and is now unlocking private investment dollars on a much larger scale than ever before.
The California Energy Commission has strategically invested in launching a backbone network of hydrogen refueling stations to enable the State’s transition to vehicles with no tailpipe pollution. “A critical next step in establishing a stable hydrogen market is increasing supply while bringing down costs”, said California Energy Commissioner, Janea A. Scott.
California to build liquid hydrogen production plant for the supply of fuel cell EVs, by Pablo Plaza, Petrol Plaza, November 28, 2018.