Hydrogen fuel-cell technology, it's still a California thing. At least, it is according to the US Department of Energy.

The DOE has announced the details of its latest round of funding for technology dedicated to advancing hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development, and almost all of the recipients were from the Golden State. The largest of the six projects that are slated to receive a combined $7 million in funding is from Pasadena-based Materia, which is getting $2 million to cut the cost of compressed hydrogen storage systems. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and San Francisco-based Ardica are each receiving $1.2 million for their planned hydrogen storage system improvements, while $1 million will be doled out to Malibu-based HRL Laboratories. The DOE says such projects are "critical to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies."

California continues to be a veritable Ground Zero for US hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle advancement. Earlier this month, the first group of Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles were shipped into the Port of Los Angeles. And this spring, Cal State Los Angeles received a new hydrogen refueling station. Only one of the country's 11 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations is outside of California. And the California Energy Commission recently awarded a $27.6-million grant to FirstElement Fuel Inc. to build a network of 19 hydrogen stations throughout the state. Perhaps one day, these new storage advances will come in handy. Check out the DOE's press release below.
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Energy Department Awards $7 Million to Advance Hydrogen Storage Systems
May 19, 2014

The Energy Department today announced $7 million for six projects to develop lightweight, compact, and inexpensive advanced hydrogen storage systems that will enable longer driving ranges and help make fuel cell systems competitive for different platforms and sizes of vehicles. These advances in hydrogen storage will be critical to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Materia of Pasadena, California will receive $2 million to reduce the cost of compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will demonstrate a novel resin system that reduces the use of expensive carbon fiber composites for high pressure storage tanks.

PPG Industries of Greensboro, North Carolina will receive $1.2 million to demonstrate a novel high strength glass fiber that is stronger than the carbon fibers used today at half of the cost.

Sandia National Laboratories of Livermore, California will receive $1.2 million to systematically screen low cost alternative materials for use in hydrogen storage systems.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of Livermore, California, will receive $1.2 million to develop a reversible, high-capacity storage material that can bond to and release hydrogen in a vehicle, reducing the amount of hydrogen that needs to be pumped in the tank.

Ardica of San Francisco, California will receive $1.2 million to transition and scale-up a low-cost production process for the production of aluminum hydride, a potential high-capacity hydrogen storage material.

HRL Laboratories of Malibu, California will receive $1 million to develop high capacity reversible hydrogen storage materials that have properties needed for practical hydrogen storage applications.

Learn how fuel cell technology generates clean electricity from hydrogen to power our buildings and transportation in this Energy 101: Fuel Cell Technology video. The video illustrates the fundamentals of fuel cell technology and its potential to supply our homes, offices, industries, and vehicles with sustainable, reliable energy.

Learn more about the Energy Department's broader efforts to develop affordable, efficient fuel cell and hydrogen technologies on EERE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells page.