Photo courtesy of StratosFuel

Photo courtesy of StratosFuel

StratosFuel Inc., a developer of hydrogen fueling stations, received a notice of proposed award from the California Energy Commission for a $684,421 grant to launch a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) carsharing service.

The grant will go toward purchasing 15 FCEVs that will be deployed in Southern California.

The award comes after the California Energy Commission released a Grant Solicitation entitled “Innovative Service Mobility Demonstrations with Zero-Emission Vehicles” on March 9. The grant solicitation made $3 million available — in an effort to fund up to four innovative electric vehicle mobility service projects in four specific California Regions.

The carsharing fleet of 15 FCEVs will increase zero-emission ridership in disadvantaged communities and increase usage at public-funded hydrogen refueling stations (HRS). To start, the vehicles will be deployed near the Ontario, Calif., and Riverside Calif., hydrogen stations.

“Having this fleet will be a great opportunity to increase the utilization of our Zero Impact Production [ZIP] facility, and to further the use of our cost-competitive renewable hydrogen furthering our goal of making hydrogen an everyday fuel,” said Jose Magana, chief operating officer of StratosFuel.

StratosFuel will begin sharing cars under its brand name StratosShare. Users will be able to rent vehicles based on location. Fees will include fuel and insurance. Riders will have the option to rent a vehicle by the hour or day.

“We want to provide a zero-emission vehicle alternative to the shared mobility sector and do so with convenience,” said Jonathan Palacios-Avila, CEO of StratosFuel Inc. “Sharing a FCEV is a great opportunity for drivers to understand the simplicity of driving and refueling an electric vehicle in minutes.”

StratosFuel plans to expand its FCEV fleet to other regions in California, as well as add more vehicles to the fleet, according to the company.