Hydrogen-fuel provider True Zero announces its 18 company-owned and -operated retail stations in California have sold more than 550,000 lbs. (250,000 kg) of hydrogen to drivers of fuel-cell electric vehicles that have traveled 17 million miles (27.4 million km).

The True Zero stations plus 13 others make up a total of 31 stations open across California thanks to more than $50 million in California Energy Commission grant funding and the state’s commitment to zero-emissions vehicles.

“Surpassing the milestone of dispensing a quarter of a million kilograms of hydrogen demonstrates how government and industry can successfully work together to provide the fueling infrastructure necessary to allow Californians to travel emissions-free,” Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott says in a True Zero news release.

“This is a significant achievement for fuel cells – every day the Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai (FCEVs) are showing us that hydrogen can be a practical replacement for gasoline,” said Joel Ewanick, CEO of True Zero and Hyundai’s former chief U.S. marketer. “Thanks to the commitment from the Energy Commission, electrified vehicles are becoming more and more mainstream, and every day these cars are helping build a better future for our children.”

True Zero claims to be the world’s largest fully dedicated developer and operator of hydrogen stations, with nine under development in addition to the 18 already in service. The company’s growth has been spurred not only by the Energy Commission funding but also by grants from the South Coast and Bay Area Air Quality Management Districts, and by private financing from Toyota and Honda.

True Zero says its hydrogen sales numbers indicate most California FCEV customers are not encountering range or daily mileage limitations. Their daily and hourly refueling patterns appear nearly identical to those of a gasoline car, which indicates customers are using their fuel-cell vehicles without having to change their driving habits.

The Clarity’s range is 366 miles (589 km), and the Mirai’s range is 312 miles (502 km).

The 17 million miles driven on FCEVs using True Zero hydrogen translate into 10 million lbs. (4.5 million kg) of avoided carbon-dioxide emissions, the company says.

“These consumer usage patterns are a great indication of the potential for mass adoption,” Ewanick says. “We are at a very early stage of commercialization.”

jirwin@wardsauto.com