The funds will help pay for just seven new retail refueling stations, all located in California.

Shell and Toyota have received a subsidy award from the California Energy Commission to build new hydrogen refueling stations in the state.

The proposed award will provide around $16.3 million to help pay for seven new retail stations. It is unclear if the funds -- worth $2.3 million per stations -- will pay for all costs or just part of the investment required to build each site.

"Hydrogen electric vehicles could play an important role in improving air quality while offering convenience to motorists," says Shell's hydrogen general manager, Oliver Bishop. "This kind of collaboration between government and industry is central to making hydrogen a reality."

The California Fuel Cell Partnership lists just 25 hydrogen refueling stations open for business across the entire state. Nearly all of the locations are clustered around the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles regions.

The lack of infrastructure appears to be a significant problem for FCVs. The technology is struggling to gain traction against both traditional gasoline powertrains and battery-powered EVs, which benefit from thousands of recharging stations and can be plugged in at home.