Hydrogen Vehicles Gets Favorable Marks, More State Support for Infrastructure Supported

SACRAMENTO – While Californians overwhelmingly support Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order requiring all in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks be zero-emission by 2035, they want vehicles that go longer distances and require shorter fueling times as well as more access to fueling options – qualities offered by hydrogen vehicles, according to a new poll of California voters released today by the California Hydrogen Coalition.

“The poll confirms that California policymakers shouldn’t put all of their eggs in the battery electric vehicle basket if we are to meet the Governor’s zero emission vehicle goal,” said Teresa Cooke, the Executive Director of the California Hydrogen Coalition. “Hydrogen vehicles offer the conveniences of gasoline-fueled vehicles, such as quick fueling and longer ranges, that are
critical to attract buyers such as super commuters and apartment dwellers without access to charging stations. With strong voter support for increased funding for hydrogen infrastructure, the Legislature and Governor should bolster funding in this year’s budget to attract even more private sector investment so that hydrogen is an attractive choice for California motorists.”

The poll, conducted by David Binder Research of San Francisco for the California Hydrogen Coalition, found:

  • 59 percent support the Governor’s zero emission vehicle mandate while 37 percent oppose;
  • Of the 87 percent of survey respondents who do not currently own a zero-emission vehicle, 39 percent say they currently have interest in buying or leasing one, while 52 percent say that they do not have interest.
  • Over half (53%) say that the limited range of ZEV’s is a very important factor in their lack of interest, while 49 percent say that not having a convenient place to charge a ZEV is a very important factor. 39 percent say that ZEV’s taking too long to charge is a very
    important factor.
  • This same segment of voters who initially was uninterested in buying a ZEV was subsequently asked whether they would be more likely to buy a ZEV if charging took 3 to 5 minutes, and could be done at their local gas station. More than half (55%) say they
    would be more interested if this were the case. This includes 1 in 4 (24%) who say they would be much more likely to purchase a ZEV.
  • Voters were subsequently given a brief description of fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles and asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each type of vehicle. After being informed, 74 percent had a favorable impression of fuel cell vehicles, while 63 percent had a favorable opinion of battery electric vehicles.
    In addition, after being exposed to basic facts about these two types of ZEV’s, those voters who had previously stated they were interested in purchasing a ZEV were asked whether they would prefer a fuel cell vehicle or a battery electric vehicle. A significant plurality (47%) say that they would prefer a fuel cell vehicle, while only 32 percent prefer a battery electric vehicle.

The poll was conducted by Binder Research from May 19-24, 2021 with 800 likely November 2022 voters in California. Interviews were conducted multi-modally using a combination of telephones (live-interviews to both cell phone and landlines), online via email, and via text message. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is ± 3.5%.

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