Photo by FirstElement.

Photo by FirstElement.

Honda has announced that it will provide $13.8 million in financial assistance to FirstElement Fuel to help develop and expand California’s network of hydrogen fuel stations. A letter of intent between the two companies outlining plans for a series of financial agreements has been signed.

The support from Honda combined with anticipated future grants from the state of California could allow FirstElement to add at least 12 stations to California’s hydrogen fuel network.

FirstElement received grants totaling over $27 million from the California Energy Commission, as well as substantial funding assistance from Toyota, earlier this year to build a network of 19 stations around the state. The state plans to invest $200 million into hydrogen station development over the next several years.

Additional state grants, combined with the Honda financing, could put FirstElement in a position to expand its network of stations by more than 50 percent, to at least 31 stations.

Honda unveiled its FCV Concept in Japan on Nov. 17, pointing the way to an all-new Honda fuel-cell vehicle slated for launch first in Japan by March 2016 followed by launches in the U.S. and Europe.