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Another Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens In LA, With Fuel-Cell Cars On The Way

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Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles [photo: Axelle Bader]

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles [photo: Axelle Bader]

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Another hydrogen fueling station opened in southern California yesterday, this one at California State University, Los Angeles.

The university's Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility is a part of its program in sustainable energy and transportation technology, and is the largest hydrogen station operated by a university anywhere in the U.S.

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles [photo: Axelle Bader]

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles [photo: Axelle Bader]

Enlarge Photo

It produces the hydrogen fuel on site from water, rather than natural gas, and students will use the station as a laboratory for ways to improve the efficiency of "sustainably produced hydrogen," according to the information provided at the event.

DON'T MISS: California To Have Up To 70 Hydrogen Fueling Stations By 2016?

Located close to the convergence of four major Southern California freeways--Interstates 5, 10, 60, and 710--the station sits near the most polluted transportation corridor in the state, due to continual heavy-truck traffic to and from the Port of Los Angeles.

Hydrogen-powered cars at the event included a new 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, and an older Toyota Highlander Hydrogen. Publicity photos also included a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell.

While both Toyota and Honda plan to introduce hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles within the next two years, Hyundai is actually the first to market with a hydrogen vehicle.

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles

Enlarge Photo

It will lease its Tucson Fuel Cell within a few months to selected drivers in Southern California who live within range of one of the rare hydrogen fueling stations.

MORE: 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell: Hydrogen Crossover First Drive

Officials at the event included representatives from the university itself, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“I am proud that Cal State L.A. is a trailblazer on the ‘Hydrogen Highway’ in expanding the knowledge and use of hydrogen fuel,” said newly inaugrated Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino.

“By their very nature, engineering students are inquisitive and tenacious," Covino continued, "and I feel confident the training they receive at the Hydrogen Research and Fueling Station will lead the way in developing new technologies in the years to come.”

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles

Hydrogen fueling station at California State University, Los Angeles

Enlarge Photo

The new fueling station represents "a major addition to Governor Brown’s “Zero Emission Action Plan,” said David Blekhman, a technology professor at the university.

ALSO SEE: California Gets Serious About Funding Hydrogen Fueling Stations

Funding for the hydrogen fueling station and associated research facility was provided by the California Air Resources Board, the Department of Energy, the state's South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Mobile Sources Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, The Ahmanson Foundation, and the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Earlier this month, the California Energy Commission announced that it would invest $46.6 million to bring more hydrogen refueling stations that are open to the public to the state, to "promote a consumer market for zero-emission fuel cell vehicles."

Those funds will add 15 new hydrogen stations in Southern California, plus another 13 in the north part of the state. Six stations will use completely renewable energy to generate the fuel.

Almost two years ago, the California Fuel Cell Partnership published a Road Map for the launch of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and the associated infrastructure by 2015. Yesterday's fueling station counts as one more box ticked off in making that rollout feasible.

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