#179, California hydrogen highway growing, still unheralded

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Three mainstream automobile manufacturers, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, sell and lease hydrogen vehicles. The Clarity (Honda) and Mirai (Toyota) are sedans; the Nexo (Hyundai) is a sport utility vehicle.

Combined, the three vehicles compromise a small fraction of the automotive industry and are overwhelmingly in California.

Ben Xiong, the Communications Specialist at California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) in West Sacramento, California, discusses the hydrogen vehicle industry on this week’s episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast.

The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell showcases hydrogen technology.
The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell showcases hydrogen technology. Image © James Raia/2018

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia report on the progress of the hydrogen car and truck industry, the public’s perception of hydrogen fuel and the availability of hydrogen refueling stations.

“My main passion, really, is reacting with people via public website and social media about the industry,” said Xiong, who has been working with the CaFCP for 15 years. “Right now there are 45 locations in California that are open for retail (public) use in California,” said Xiong. “They are primarily focused in Southern and Northern California and we do have one in the central valley at Harris Ranch (Coalinga).”

Hydrogen Cars Have Perks

Founded in 1999, the California Fuel Cell Partnership is an industry/government collaboration aimed at expanding the market for fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen to help create a cleaner, more energy-diverse future with no-compromises zero-emission vehicles.

While unheralded and limited, Xiong explains his industry’s beliefs in fuel-cell vehicles and the monetary perks of buying or leasing a hydrogen vehicle.

Chris White of the California Fuel Cell Partnership drives as Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
Chris White of the California Fuel Cell Partnership was among the first drivers of a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen vehicle. She’s now on her second vehicle.

Please join us for an interview with a hydrogen fuel industry proponent.

Beyond our podcast, please visit www.cafcp.org for hydrogen vehicle specifications, a map of fueling stations in California and a host of articles about the industry.

The Weekly Driver Podcast encourages and appreciates feedback from our listeners. Please forward episode links to family, friends and colleagues. And you are welcome to repost links from the podcast to your social media accounts. The idea of more eyeballs on more content works for us.

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The podcast is in its third year, and we’ve had a diverse collection of guests — famous athletes, vintage car collectors, manufacturer CEOs, automotive book authors, industry analysts, a movie stuntman and episodes from auto shows and car auctions.

Please send comments and suggestions for new episodes to James Raia via email: [email protected].
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