Today marks the start of a major new road tour to promote hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles and prove their real-world potential.
Bringing together four of the world’s key carmakers in a rare collaboration, the new European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 will see seven FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicles) from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota head around Europe to reach reach out to politicians, industry leaders, press and public to help improve awareness around FCEVs and give the public a rare chance to test drive the vehicles.
Starting in Hamburg today (September 13th), the FCEVs will travel to nine major European cities, heading to Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen, supported by local organisations in each city. The tour procession consists of two Honda FCX Clarity vehicles, so far the only production FCEV available along with one Toyota FCHV-adv car, two Hyundai ix35 FCEV vehicles and two Mercedes B-Class F-Cell cars.
While Honda is the first to have gone into production with a hydrogen-fuelled model, with its FCX Clarity model available to lease in the US and Japan since 2010, Mercedes has promised to start production of its B-Class based hydrogen model by 2014. Toyota and Hyundai are expected to follow, with models planned for launch in 2015.
The tour will be the most widespread effort to promote FCEVs in Europe this year, and will last a month, as the vehicles stop in each city to give the public the chance to experience the benefits of this type of alternative fuel vehicle. For many of the cities on the tour route, it will be the first opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive these clean emission vehicles.
H2 Logic Denmark will provide mobile refuelling stations in some stopover cities.
The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme launched by the European Commission.
Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, Director drive development fuel cell system, Daimler AG points out the importance of this technology: ”On our way to zero-emission mobility fuel cell electric vehicles - with their great range while at the same time short refueling times - will play a central role for the future. However, the success of this technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”
The tour will arrive in the UK on October 3 in Cardiff for a public ride and drive event, before heading to Swindon and Bristol on October 4 and London on the October 5-6, 2012. More details are available here: http://www.scandinavianhydrogen.org/h2moves/european-hydrogen-road-tour-2012
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.
September 13, 2012
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