October 18, 2007


California sets limits on state funding for hydrogen based on greenhouse gas profile

Sacramento, California – California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed energy bill AB 809 into law, setting limits on state funding for the production and use of hydrogen fuel for vehicles, based on the “well-to-wheels” greenhouse gas profile of the vehicles using the hydrogen.

AB 809 mandates the development and adoption of hydrogen fuel regulations to ensure that state funding for the production and use of hydrogen fuel contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants and toxic air contaminants. Although hydrogen vehicles are zero-emission when operating, the method used to produce the hydrogen can drive up the overall greenhouse gas profile well past the average baseline for a gasoline-fuelled vehicle.

The regulations require that, on a statewide basis, well-to-wheel emissions of greenhouse gases for the average vehicle powered by hydrogen from stations that receive state funds are at least 30 percent lower than emissions for the average new gasoline vehicle in California, when measured on a per-mile basis. As well, no less than 33.3 per cent of hydrogen produced for or dispensed by fuelling stations that receive state funds must be made from eligible energy resources, and that hydrogen fuel dispensed from state-funded stations be generated in a manner so that local well-to-tank emissions of nitrogen oxides plus reactive organic gases are at least 50 percent lower than well-to-tank emissions of the average motor gasoline sold in California, when measured on an energy-equivalent basis.

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