February 15, 2017, SANTA BARBARA, CA—Community Environmental Council (CEC), in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (SBCAPCD), will present a free community forum highlighting the future of hydrogen cars, also known as fuel cell vehicles, on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery on Anapamu Street.
The Central Coast celebrated the opening of the region’s first hydrogen fueling station in Santa Barbara in May 2016. This forum will build on the community’s interest in the benefits, challenges, opportunities, and regional planning efforts associated with hydrogen-fueled transportation. Facilitated by Cameron Gray, CEC Transportation and Climate Specialist, a panel discussion will include representatives from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, Energy Independence Now, Toyota USA, and SBCAPCD. There will also be a display of two fuel cell vehicles, the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson, outside the library on Anapamu Street.
“In our conversations with community members, we’ve found that there is a need to increase public awareness of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles,” said Gray. “Many people have questions about the technology and its environmental benefits, so we’ve organized this forum to help them get answers from experts.”
Powered by pure hydrogen, fuel cell vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions. California’s commitment to invest up to $20 million each year to support the construction of 100 hydrogen fueling stations shows the key role the technology plays in the state’s ambitious climate change goals.
“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in both California and the United States,” stated Sigrid Wright, CEO/Executive Director of CEC. “To achieve our climate goals, we will need to replace millions of traditional automobiles with cleaner battery electric and fuel cell vehicles. The world is watching California to see if we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a robust clean energy economy that is moved by renewables.”
In collaboration with CEC, neighboring air districts, and other organizations, and with funding from the California Energy Commission, SBCAPCD developed and implemented the Tri-Counties Hydrogen Readiness Plan. The plan provides a blueprint for increasing the number of hydrogen fueling stations in the region, as well as increasing awareness about hydrogen vehicles as another clean-air option for drivers.
“We are excited to keep working with partners and the public on ways to improve our local air quality. Air quality will improve as cleaner fuel technologies like hydrogen cars and electric cars replace gasoline-powered cars on our roads,” said Aeron Arlin Genet, SBCAPCD Director. “This forum will be a great opportunity to learn more about those benefits.”
What: Drive Clean: The Road Ahead for Fuel Cell Vehicles and Hydrogen
Where: Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
When: Wednesday, February 22, 6:30-8 p.m.
Who: Keith Malone, California Fuel Cell Partnership; Kiran Srivastava, Energy Independence Now; Rommel Momen, Toyota USA; Ben Ellenberger, Santa Barbara County APCD