As expected, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, has signed Assembly Bill 8 – the pro-electric-vehicle, pro-hydrogen-refueling-station bill – into law. That means the state of California will now spend over $2 billion to extend plug-in vehicle credits and on building a network of up to 100 H2 stations over the next decade, according to The Detroit News.
The governor signed the bill (and other pro-EV items) as part of the Third Annual National Plug In Day celebrations, which took place this weekend in almost 100 cities around the world. AB 8 not only provides the extra money for zero-emission transportation - funded through new or increased vehicle fees - but also extends the program's time frame to 2024. The state has long added a $2,500 EV rebate ($1,500 for plug-in hybrids) on top of the US federal government's tax credit that is worth up to $7,500. The Imperial Valley News reports that the suite of six green transportation bills that Gov. Brown signed includes bills that extend HOV lane access to low-emission vehicles, define charging station rules for multi-family housing units and non-residential buildings and fund the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and other green vehicle incentive programs. The CVRP has had fluctuating funds and gotten influxes of money in the past.
On the hydrogen refueling front, the 100 stations that the new legislation funds should be more than enough. The California Fuel Cell Partnership calculated last year that the state needs 68 stations to power the initial H2 vehicle fleet. There are currently 10 publicly accessible hydrogen stations in California, according to the US Department of Energy.