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California to build liquid hydrogen production plant for the supply of fuel cell EVs

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.

MCE Launches Electric Vehicle Programs, Offers Competitive Rates

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — MCE has launched a generous rebate program to lower the cost of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at workplace and multifamily properties. The program also offers rebates to low-income qualifying customers on the purchase or lease of new and used EVs.

“Transportation is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector in our service area and in California,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “This program is grounded in our mission and is focused on our customers — particularly those in underserved communities, reduces vehicle-related emissions, and provides greater access to EV charging where people live and work.”

EV Rebates for Low-Income Qualifying Customers

MCE is offering a $3,500 rebate for low-income qualifying customers to purchase or lease either a new or used EV. Additionally, MCE can help qualifying customers combine this rebate with Federal, State, and local incentives for a total discount of up to $12,000 for a new EV or $9,000 for a used EV. The final price of a used EV could now be as low as $2,000 after rebates. Qualifying households must receive MCE service and either be enrolled in California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA), or have an annual household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

EV Charging Station Rebates for Workplaces & Multifamily Properties

MCE’s EV charging rebate program covers both large and small charging projects (from two to 20+ ports), allowing market rate and low-income multifamily properties and workplaces of any size and sector (including local government agencies) to save on hardware and installation costs — up to $2,500 per port. MCE will provide technical assistance in the application and installation process.

MCE’s EV program aims to add over 500 charging ports and 100 EVs to low-income households within MCE’s service area by March 2019. Improving charger access (particularly for renters and commuters) and reducing the purchasing price of EVs addresses two of the top barriers cited for owning an EV.

“MCE’s rebate program supports EV adoption by providing much-needed charging infrastructure, while making EVs less expensive than fossil-fueled cars for people who may not have the budget for car ownership otherwise,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor and California Air Resources Board Member, John Gioia. “Replacing a single gasoline-powered car with an EV eliminates an average of 4.6 metric tons of air pollution, which is like avoiding a trip of over 11,000 miles in a car.”

MCE’s EV Charging Rates

MCE’s residential EV rates are lower than investor-owned utility rates, providing EV drivers a cost-effective way of charging their car at home. MCE’s EV rates are flat, based on the time of day when a car is charged, with incentives for charging during off-peak usage hours, like at night when charging is least expensive. This helps to support the grid by shifting load away from times of the day when usage is high and there is more strain on the grid towards times when generation is plentiful and overall usage is low.

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About MCE: MCE is a not-for-profit, community choice electricity provider that provides all customers with electricity supplied from 50% to 100% clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydroelectric at competitive rates. MCE provides service to approximately 470,000 California customers in Marin County, Napa County, unincorporated Contra Costa County, and the cities of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org.