The California Fuel Cell Partnership is committed to promoting fuel cell vehicle commercialization as a means of moving towards a sustainable energy future increasing energy efficiency and reducing or eliminating air pollution and greenhouse gasA gas in Earth's atmosphere that traps heat and can contribute to global warming. Carbon dioxide and methane are two GHGs. emissions.
Collaboration is key
Our members collaborate on activities that advance the technology, often creating consensus that saves time, effort and money. For example, California was the first state to designate hydrogen as a transportation fuel. With that designation came a need to immediately set some standards and regulations. CaFCP and its members provided the Department of Measurement Standards with joint input about hydrogen quality regulations, instead of individually submitting conflicting input to the agency. DMS was able to create the regulation in months instead of years.
Some projects, like public outreach and first responder education, are ongoing and involve a team of staff and members. Other projects arise around one issue, like training drivers on how to use the stations. Staff and members come together as a team to address it and, when completed, the project team disbands.
Regardless of the issue or matter, CaFCP and its members are engaged on a day-to-day basis to move fuel cell electric vehicles closer to market.
- Automotive members provide fuel cell passenger vehicles that are placed in demonstration programs, where they are tested in real-world driving conditions.
- Energy members work to build hydrogen stations within an infrastructure that is safe, convenient and fits into the community.
- Fuel cell technology members provide fuel cells for passenger vehicles and transit buses.
- Government members lay the groundwork for demonstration programs by facilitating steps to creating a hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
In January 1999, the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission joined with six private-sector companies—Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, BP, Shell Hydrogen and ChevronTexaco—to form the California Fuel Cell Partnership. The goal was to demonstrate and promote the potential for electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells as a clean, safe, and practical alternative to vehicles with internal combustion engines. Within a very short time, other government agencies and private businesses became members.
"California has teamed with some of the best automotive manufacturers and energy providers in the world, to develop an exciting new technology that is both environmentally safe and commercially viable." -- former Governor Gray Davis formally announcing the collaboration on April 20,1999
In November 2000, our West Sacramento headquarters opened. The building includes a public gallery, offices, a hydrogen fueling station and indoor service bays for vehicle maintenance. In the beginning, the automakers had just handful of cars-all stationed in Sacramento. Our goal was to see if these fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen could be technically viable. If the answer was no, then CaFCP would close its doors in 2004.
Before the first phase was finished, CaFCP members knew that the technology could succeed. Our membership grew to 33 and they drafted a new set of goals for the next phase of operation, 2004 to 2007. During this period, CaFCP members worked on projects to prove or disprove the commercially viability—would the vehicles, fuels and public policies meet consumer expectations?
CaFCP is now in its fourth phase: preparing for market launch. Our attention has shifted slightly from vehicles to stations as our automaker members prepare to introduce FCEVs to California beginning in 2015. Much remains to be done, and our members remain confident that FCEVs are a crucial part of the transportation mix.
Chair: Justin Ward
Justin Ward is the General Manager of Toyota’s Powertrain System Control (PSC) department at Toyota Technical Center (TTC), located in Gardena, Calif. TTC, Toyota’s North American R&D center, has been a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA) since 2006. PSC responsibilities include suitability testing of advanced powertrain technologies in North America, coordinating development of new or improved powertrain software, coordinating Toyota’s contributions to North American Codes & Standards related to advanced powertrains, and supporting technical outreach.
Ward began his career at TTC in 2001, when he joined the company to support the opening of Toyota's first facility in North America dedicated to Fuel Cell Vehicle development, located at the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) in West Sacramento, Calif. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1999.
Executive Director: Bill Elrick
Bill Elrick is the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s Executive Director. Previously, he held the Technical Program Director position for 7 years, bringing his active tenure in alternative fuel transportation to 20 years. Under his leadership, CaFCP members have developed new analysis tools and detailed roll-out plans that industry, state and federal agencies reference in planning support for hydrogen stations. He works directly with industry stakeholders including automakers, station developers, medium and heavy duty fuel cell vehicle developers, and government to facilitate collaborative actions that fulfill each organization’s needs. Bill has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Ball State University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Indiana.
CaFCP is managed by BKi