In recognition of National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day on Oct. 8 and the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Longo Toyota of El Monte are donating 1,008 meals to non-profit Meals on Wheels.

Toyota's Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle is powered solely by hydrogen without combustion, and its only emission is water. SoCalGas, the largest gas distribution utility in North America, recognizes hydrogen and fuel cells to be a critical part of the future of clean energy in California.

Fun fact: October 8 and the number 1,008 are used in connection with hydrogen because its atomic weight is 1.008.

"Longo Toyota is proud to partner with SoCalGas on National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day to bring awareness to hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the automotive space," said Doug Eroh, President and General Manager of Longo Toyota.  "As one of the original authorized Mirai dealers in California, we have sold over 1,300 Mirai fuel cell vehicles in addition to over 35,000 hybrid electric vehicles over the past 20 years.  Longo Toyota is committed to promoting clean energy vehicles and educating the public on the importance of environmental sustainability."

For the past six years, the U.S. Congress has passed resolutions recognizing October 8 as Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hydrogen, and fuel cells can be used in multiple sectors such as transportation and stationary power enabling energy security and resiliency.  

"As California works to transition to cleaner energy, SoCalGas knows the importance of hydrogen and fuel cells in developing the 21st century energy system, and innovations like hydrogen-powered cars are key. Vehicles like the Mirai are expected to play an important role as California seeks to meet the requirements of Governor Newsom's executive order to require all new cars sold here to be zero-emissions by 2035," said Yuri Freedman, SoCalGas senior director of business development. "SoCalGas is also furthering innovation and the development of carbon-free and carbon-negative gases like renewable natural gas and hydrogen, which demonstrates our commitment to helping California reach its climate goals affordably and reliably."

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day was created by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) to help raise awareness of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. FCHEA recently launched a report titled, Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy. The Road Map was developed with input from 20 major companies including Microsoft, Toyota, Air Liquide, Cummins, SoCalGas, and other Fortune 100 firms.

It outlines how expanding the use of hydrogen would help solve a multitude of energy, environmental and health issues and makes the case that hydrogen will be required to dramatically decrease carbon fuels from U.S. energy supply, especially as energy demands increase.  Further, the Road Map explains the role of hydrogen in providing carbon-free electricity, long-term storage of renewable power, and clean distributed power to prevent power outages during natural disasters or grid cyberattacks. 

Fuel cells are yet another technology which continues to scale in the energy industry, combining both hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. SoCalGas recently announced it begun powering two of its largest Los Angeles-area facilities with Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cells. The switch to fuel cells reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollutants and the cost of power, as well as provides reliable electricity independent of the power grid.

SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America and support a 21st century energy system that provides clean, affordable, resilient and integrated energy. As part of its vision, the utility committed to replacing 20% of natural gas supplies to its core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. SoCalGas will also make use of hydrogen, fuel cells, and other energy alternatives.

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