Germany has agreed a major new cross-industry partnership which will see the country take the lead in hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
It might sound like a small start, with plans to install around 50 public filling stations by 2015 across Germany, but it will make the country a leading force in the development of a hydrogen economy.
The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has today signed a joint Letter of Intent with several industry partners to expand the network of fuelling stations from current 15 stations across the country. The letter forms part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP), in which Germany’s federal government will work with its partners; Air Liquide, Air Products, Daimler, Linde and Total Germany to expand the public network.
The German government’s own NOW GmbH (National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) will coordinate the construction of the filling stations.
The network of hydrogen filling stations accompanies the commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles that the automobile industry has announced for 2014/15.
Partner, Daimler plans to be the first carmaker to start full commercial production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with plans to launch the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell by 2014.
Dr. Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, said: “Electric vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells generate no harmful emissions. They also have a high range and can be refuelled within minutes. To facilitate their introduction to the market, we need a network of filling stations that covers the major metropolitan areas and connects them to each other. We are therefore partnering with private industry to construct a total of 50 hydrogen filling stations in Germany by the year 2015. By doing so, we create the basis for a demand-driven infrastructure for refuelling hydrogen vehicles.”
Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "Electric vehicles equipped with a battery and fuel cell will make a considerable contribution to sustainable mobility in the future. However, the success of fuel cell technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
June 20, 2012
Filed under: Mercedes
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June 22, 2012
The whole business of hydrogen as automotive fuel is silly, in my opinion. Where will the hydrogen come from? Right now the only practical way you're going to get hydrogen is from natural gas. And once you start using natural gas as a transportation energy source, you might as well use it directly.
Fuel cell cars require hydrogen, but how many fuel cell cars can we expect on the world's motorways within the next 10 years? On the other hand, internal combustion engine powered vehicles equipped for compressed natural gas operation are gaining acceptance.
I believe widespread use of natural gas powered vehicles for various purposes (public transport, school buses, taxicabs, lorries for local and purhaps also long-distance transport of goods) would be a more economical means of reducing transport-related carbon dioxide emissions, than fuel cells.
June 21, 2012