California Fuel Cell Partnership Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sacramento, Calif. — Today, the California Fuel Cell Partnership marks the 10th anniversary of this unique organization with a celebration at its West Sacramento headquarters. A caravan of vehicles on the Hydrogen Road Tour will arrive during the celebration, demonstrating the progress of the collaboration’s members during the decade.
CaFCP was formed in 1999 as a collaboration between two state agencies and six private sector companies with the goal of testing and promoting zero-emission fuel cell vehicles. At the time, California had four fuel cell vehicles and one hydrogen station. Within months, other auto, energy and technology companies, and federal and local government agencies joined the effort. Today, CaFCP has 30 members who are all active in hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the state of California.
“In the early years, the engineers and technicians were the only people who got to drive the vehicles,” said CaFCP’s executive director, Catherine Dunwoody, who has been in her role since the organization’s start. “Today regular customers drive and fill at hydrogen stations in their neighborhood. We’re at the point where it won’t take miracles to bring these vehicles to market.”
The California Fuel Cell Partnership is a consensus-based organization that focuses moving toward a commercial market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. By collaborating between industry and government on projects such as defining and measuring hydrogen quality or coordinating the rollout of vehicles and stations, CaFCP reduces processes from years to just months.
Key milestones over the last 10 years include:
- Moving from early concept vehicles to fleet demonstrations, including some automakers placing vehicles with customers in lease programs.
- 25 hydrogen stations, including six that are publically accessible and a plan to place 40 more stations in six target communities in the next few years.
- A facility study that provided architects and planners with important information about hydrogen-powered vehicles, including specific data showing that current parking structures need no modification for FCVs.
- Developing and implementing an internationally recognized training course for emergency responders.
- Designating hydrogen as an automotive fuel, an important step to sell the fuel at a station.
- Operating the first privately owned hydrogen station, establishing a foundation for private insurance and determining operating costs.
- Reaching hundreds of thousands of people through a fact-based outreach program.
“The last 10 years have gone by fast, and we’ve met or exceeded our goals,” concluded Dunwoody. “I’m looking forward to the next few years as we move to the early commercial market.”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Roy Kim, CaFCP