Verbal Comments on the IEPR Commissioner Workshop on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Market Status

On July 2, CHBC executive director, Bill Zobel, provided comments during the California Energy Commission IEPR Commissioner Workshop on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Market Status, which had two sessions:
“Hydrogen Supply and Infrastructure Status”
  • Regulatory certainty needs to facilitate investment. This is absolutely necessary for more private capital to make its way into this market and achieve the scale necessary to meet the challenge and leverage the full economic potential of Hydrogen outlined by Dr Wang.
  • A good example of supportive policy are investments being made in the EU and specifically Germany, where governments and private industry have committed to spending 9bn Euros on research and investment in Hydrogen. This is a very recent and compelling example where clear and consistent policy signals support the business case and spur investment which will allow markets to grow and mature.
  • One example close to home are the HRI credits which are important and have succeeded in allowing for expanded capacity, but they don’t give OEMs enough forward looking certainty. The Energy Commission can and should do more to facilitate this with positive signals coming from both new and existing programs.
  • CARB recognizes the importance of extending AB 8 funds beyond the 2023 sunset date in its recent SB 498 report. This recommendation is in line with holding to the goals of the ZEV Executive Order, which have not been given funding by the legislature. We urge the CEC to join this call for extension of AB 8 funds in its recommendations in this IEPR update.
  • On the production side, we also need clear and consistent policies to increase supply and encourage producers to invest. Particularly, we need policies that accelerate production of decarbonized hydrogen at scale to achieve cost-competitiveness.
  • Dr Wang provided a compelling information that makes it clear we can get there with scale, innovation, and investment which can only be spurred by clear and consistent public policy.
“FCEV Market Status”
  • Note that scale was mentioned more than once as the key to unlocking these broader benefits and lowering costs.
  • Several panelists mentioned the importance of the LD sector, the scale that is available in that market the advancements made on international standards. All seem to agree that the two market segments LD and HD complement each other.
  • All this gets back to one of the important themes discussed on this morning’s panel, where speakers there were calling for “regulatory certainty” to facilitate investment. Those comments were reiterated by this afternoon’s panels.