Honda To Loan First Element $14 Million For Hydrogen Fueling Stations

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2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

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Honda announced today at the Los Angeles Auto Show that it will loan almost $14 million to hydrogen station provider First Element Fuels to help it build an additional 12 fueling stations in California for upcoming hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

The $13.8 million loan will be combined with grants from the state of California to fund the new stations.

DON'T MISS: First Element Expects To Make Money Selling Hydrogen Fuel In 5 Years

California intends to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2020.

First Element received a similar loan of $7.3 million from Toyota earlier this year, part of the funding for its first 19 hydrogen stations.

Honda FCV Concept

Honda FCV Concept

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"FirstElement Fuel is providing a vital piece of what is needed for a successful launch of fuel-cell vehicles," said vice president Steven Center, of Honda's environmental-business development office.

The California Energy Commission gave First Element almost $27 million earlier this year, part of a pledge of almost $200 million the state has pledged toward the goal of 100 fueling stations for hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

ALSO SEE: Honda FCV Concept Debuts: Design Evolution For 2016 Fuel-Cell Car

By December, Hyundai will have roughly 60 of its Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs delivered to customers in Southern California.

The 2016 Toyota Mirai was formally introduced earlier this week, and launched today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, Newport Beach, CA, Nov 2014

2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, Newport Beach, CA, Nov 2014

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And Honda announced an evolution of the styling of its hydrogen vehicle this week as well, along with a slight delay in the on-sale date to early 2016.

The Toyota Mirai will go on sale in the U.S. in the second half of next year, though only 200 cars are expected to be delivered during calendar 2015.

RELATED: Toyota, Honda, Hyundai Fuel-Cell Cars: How Many Will Be Sold?

The question of funding for a spreading network of fueling stations has been one concern over announced plans by several carmakers to offer vehicles fueled by hydrogen.

The three regions likely to see the earliest fuel-cell cars--first in the hundreds, then in the thousands--are California, Japan, and Germany.

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