California Is Set to Become the Capital of Fuel-Cell Cars

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While most of the country is hedging its bet on the future of motor vehicle technology, California is ready to go all-in on clean, sustainable fuel sources. Already home to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), California is making a big investment, up to $400 million to date, in a new program aimed at creating innovative fuel and driving technologies. The program, dubbed “The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program,” has funded more than 250 clean transportation projects and invests more than $100 million in development each year.

California is setting out to become the national leader in cleaner vehicles and cutting down on the emissions of greenhouse gasses. If you’ve ever driven through Los Angeles on a hot, muggy afternoon, the amount of smog in the air is a clear indicator as to why state officials may be putting such a priority on this, although the Clean Air Act has put a considerable dent in the amounts of pollution in metro areas across the country.

But what exactly do officials in California hope to accomplish with the renewable fuel and vehicle technology program? Well, the goals for the program are laid out rather plainly:

“Projects selected for program funding accelerate the development of alternative transportation fuels through the improvement and commercialization of existing and emerging alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Recognizing there is no ‘silver bullet’ or single solution, funded projects include commercial vehicle demonstrations and deployment, vehicle manufacturing, fuel production, fuel distribution infrastructure and research of innovative technologies. Additionally, critical functions such as outreach and marketing, workforce training and studies that focus on sustainable industry practices reinforce the goals of the program.”