If you want to own a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, you need hydrogen fuel stations, and those are hard to come by outside of California and Hawaii. But the two states remain testbeds for the powertrain technology, and its associated infrastructure.
On Thursday, Toyota, one of a few automakers carrying the fuel-cell torch, announced it has plans for seven new hydrogen fueling stations in southern California. The Japanese automaker is partnering with Iwatani, a company focused on hydrogen fueling infrastructure, to expand retail fueling stations in the area. Iwatani and Toyota said the seven new locations will increase hydrogen fuel-dispensing capacity by 6,300 kilograms per day. Not coincidentally, these stations will begin construction just as the launches .
With the expansion, California will be home to a whopping 64 hydrogen-refueling stations across the state. There's still a lot of work to be done not just on the infrastructure side of things, but on producing the fuel itself. Last year, aneffectively required owners of fuel-cell vehicles to park their cars as stations ran out of the gas.
And truth be told, electric cars have largely won the race to zero emissions. Fuel-cell research remains ongoing at numerous automakers, but the vast majority of companies are ready to transition to battery-powered vehicles in the here and now. Perhaps in another decade hydrogen will be on top, but for now, owners will likely take the little win with more stations cropping up across California.