The California Hydrogen Highway Network (CaH2Net) was initiated in April of 2004 by Executive Order (EO) S-07-04 under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The mission was to assure that hydrogen fueling stations were in place to meet the demand of fuel cell and other hydrogen vehicle technologies being placed on California’s roads.
The CaH2Net was the first point of coordination between California government, academia and private industry stakeholders, establishing a shared vision in the form of a Blueprint Plan describing the actions needed to create a hydrogen highway. The 2004 Blueprint Plan identified four main objectives to successfully move toward this goal:
- The California Hydrogen Highway Network (CaH2Net) should be developed in phases;
- The State should co-fund the early phases of the station deployment;
- Hydrogen produced as a transportation fuel should be in line with the State’s environmental goals; and
- The State should establish policies that help create a favorable business climate for establishing hydrogen infrastructure.
The Blueprint Plan guided government and industry efforts and led to initial policies and funding that set hydrogen on a path to rapid progression. While some specific strategies have refined over time through continued planning, much of the thinking during these crucial early years set the foundation for California’s hydrogen successes.
Today, staff from the Air Resources Board (ARB), California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), along with other state agencies, closely coordinate and work with other government and industry stakeholders to implement actions that support the development of a robust hydrogen and FCEV market.
Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8; Perea, Chapter 401, Statutes of 2013) remains a crucial driver to ensure California is prepared for commercial launch of FCEVs by providing a specific focus on development of the state’s hydrogen fueling station network. AB 8 dedicates up to $20 million per year to support continued construction of at least 100 hydrogen fuel stations. This focus will enable hydrogen FCEVs, along with other zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies, to play a significant role in meeting multiple policy objectives established by Governor Brown and the Legislature.
In addition to AB 8 and ARB’s Scoping Plan, Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-16-201211 provides another strong policy driver for accelerating commercialization of FCEVs and their associated hydrogen fuel station network. These policy drivers give clear direction for the ARB and CEC to plan and fund the state’s hydrogen fuel station network for its growing FCEV market.
The State of California is co-funding the initial network of hydrogen fueling stations, in advance of vehicle launches, through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).
The combination of CaH2Net planning and continued government and industry progress has prepared California with a growing hydrogen fueling network that will be ready to support tens of thousands of hydrogen vehicles as they enter the marketplace in the next several years.
CaH2Net Historical Activities
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Vision and Announcement
The "Vision 2010" for California's Hydrogen Highways was to ensure that by the end of the decade every Californian had access to hydrogen fuel along the State's major highways, with a significant and increasing percentage of that hydrogen produced from clean, renewable sources.
Governor Schwarzenegger announced on April 20, 2004 his vision for the California Hydrogen Highway Network and signed Executive Order S-704 outlining that vision.
Initial CaH2Net Funding
- Chapter 91, statutes of 2005 (Senate Bill 76) - $6.5 million in funding was allocated to the Air Resources Board for state-sponsored hydrogen demonstration projects. This funding helped co-fund 3 new hydrogen stations that met the Blueprint Plan’s environmental targets. The funding also allowed the State to procure hydrogen-powered vehicles and shuttle buses.
- 2006/2007 State Budget - Another $6.5 million was included in the 2006/2007 State budget for the continued development of hydrogen stations and for funds to match Federal funding to bring hydrogen buses to California.
- 2007/2008 State Budget - Another $6.09 million was included in the 2006/2007 State budget for the continued development of hydrogen stations and for funds to match Federal funding to bring hydrogen buses to California.
California Hydrogen Highway Network Blueprint Plan
The Governor's EO called for the development of a CaH2Net Blueprint Plan. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) to develop a “Blueprint Plan” that will expedite availability of hydrogen fueling stations and products that use hydrogen. The Blueprint Plan was developed through a collaborative process with input from more than 200 stakeholders from energy, auto and technology companies, environmental organizations and local, State and federal government agencies. The Blueprint Plan was presented to the Governor in May 2005.
Volume I: Summary of Findings and Recommendations for the CaH2Net
Prepared by CalEPA, this final document summarizes the major findings and recommendations regarding implementation of the CaH2Net, which are based upon Volume II.
Volume II: Consultant Report, Blueprint Plan for the CaH2Net
This document contains the complete and detailed CaH2Net Blueprint Plan, which was prepared by Tiax as the consultant and was based upon findings and recommendations from the individual Topic Team reports.
Topic Team Reports
The Topic Team Reports were a collaborative effort by many people, some of whom contributed focused sections or passages involving specialized areas of expertise. The participation of and contributions from individuals represent neither an endorsement of the Report and its findings or recommendations, nor a verification of a review of the Report, by the individuals or the organizations they represent.
Historical Updates & Reports
2006 Year End Report
- ARB's 2004 Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Guide:
This is a catalog of companies and organizations working to facilitate the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the State of California. (Developed by the California Air Resources Board)