Photo of hydrogen fueling station in Torrance by Thi Dao.

Photo of hydrogen fueling station in Torrance by Thi Dao.

FirstElement Fuel, which recently received final approval for a $27.6 million grant from the California Energy Commission to develop the first phase of the state’s hydrogen-fuel network, has selected Black & Veatch as its primary engineering and construction provider.

The state grant will help FirstElement build 19 hydrogen stations in California, which will support the rollout of Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle, which is slated for next summer. FirstElement expects to have its stations completed fall 2015, and has plans to build additional locations over the next five years.

Black & Veatch recently built a national EV charging network, according to Joel Ewanick, CEO of FirstElement Fuel.

“This experience makes them an ideal provider,” Ewanick said in a news release. “We are not wasting any time. We started Monday.”

FirstElement hopes to be profitable within five years, its co-president, Shane Stephens, told Wards Auto this week. In addition to the 19 stations already planned, the company wants to install 21 more over the next five years. The hydrogen will be sold at stations already gasoline and other fuel.

In addition to locations in heavily population areas, there are plans to offer hydrogen somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as near Lake Tahoe.


Toyota, FirstElement Fuel to Fund Hydrogen Refueling Network