FirstElement Fuel, the World-Leading Provider of Hydrogen Refueling Solutions, is Awarded $7.7 Million from the California Energy Commission to Scale up its Manufacturing Capacity


Hydrogen Central


Firstelement Fuel, the world-leading provider of hydrogen refueling solutions, is awarded $7.7 million from the california energy commission to scale up its manufacturing capacity.


FirstElement Fuel Inc. (“FEF” or the “Company”), announced that it has received a $7.7 million grant from the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) to increase the Company’s Santa Ana, CA manufacturing facility output by more than 10 times. FEF, a California-based company, is the world leader in hydrogen refueling solutions, currently operating the world’s largest network of hydrogen refueling stations comprised of 85 dispensers across 40 station locations and serving hydrogen-powered vehicles across California.


Joel Ewanick, Founder and Chief Executive officer of FEF said:


The CEC is playing a huge role to transition the state of California, and the world, away from fossil fuels.


“It’s truly an honor to continue our partnership with the CEC to make zero emissions transportation a reality.”


FEF’s manufacturing facility in Santa Ana currently produces critical high tech components and systems for hydrogen refueling stations, including liquid hydrogen cryopump systems. The scale-up of the Santa Ana, CA FirstElement Fuel Innovation Center, partially funded by the CEC, will increase local jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling more zero-emissions transportation.


FEF was awarded the grant through the CEC’s Zero-Emission Transportation Manufacturing competitive grant solicitation. FEF will also contribute at least $14M to the project.


Hydrogen-powered vehicles have the capacity to transform modern transportation by eliminating tailpipe emissions, slashing carbon emissions, and more than doubling driving efficiency as compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. 


California State government policy has for decades supported a transition to hydrogen in the transportation sector as part of its zero-emission vehicle strategy, placing the State in a leadership position for hydrogen-related development.


California’s policies have also laid the foundation for FEF’s success in becoming the world’s leading hydrogen refueling station company. Setting up adequate supply chains and manufacturing of hydrogen refueling station equipment to supply the development of a hydrogen refueling network is critical to the successful scale-up of hydrogen-powered vehicles.


Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development said:


FirstElement is a true California story – the company could not have been born anywhere else.


“They are emblematic of California’s role in creating new markets and expanding clean energy manufacturing, building on the foundation of our world-class workforce and ongoing commitment to a carbon-free economy.”


Patty Monahan, the CEC lead Commissioner for the Clean Transportation Program, commented:


The CEC is proud to fund FirstElement Fuel’s expansion into manufacturing hydrogen refueling components here in California.


“This will not only provide jobs for the local community, but also help the state transition to zero-emission transportation.”


Mayor Valerie Amezcua said:


FirstElement’s initiative will help grow jobs of the future here locally, which are exactly the kind of jobs that we want to see more of in Santa Ana.


“We are honored that FirstElement chose Santa Ana as its manufacturing location, and we will continue to foster a business-friendly environment in our city.”


FEF’s manufacturing expansion project will extend through March 2026 and enable FEF to increase by a factor of 10 the number of liquid hydrogen pumps built per year. FEF will also increase its pump testing capability at its hydrogen logistics hub and field-testing facility located in Livermore, CA as part of this project.


About FirstElement Fuel Inc.


FirstElement Fuel Inc is a California-based company established in 2013 to provide safe, reliable, retail hydrogen to customers of fuel cell electric vehicles.


The Company is the leading hydrogen refueling station provider in California, and the world, with facilities in Irvine, Santa Ana and Livermore, CA. FEF has 40 retail light-duty stations throughout California and is developing a network of stations to serve Heavy Duty Trucks powered by hydrogen, starting with the first-ever high-flow refueling station in Oakland, CA as part of a joint project with the California Air Resources Board and the CEC.


Over the past 10 years since FEF’s founding, the Company has partnered with public organizations including the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Sacramento Municipal Air Quality Management District which have also provided funding.


Private partnerships include those with Mitsui & Co, Air Water Inc., Honda Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, MUFG, the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, Nikisso Company, and Air Liquide, all of which have provided funds in pursuit of the vision of a zero emissions transportation future.


Source:Hydrogen Central

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