Car manufacturer Daimler and technology company The Linde Group are pressing ahead with the development of an infrastructure for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles.
Over the next three years, the two companies plan to construct an additional 20 hydrogen filling stations in Germany, thereby ensuring a supply of hydrogen produced purely from renewable resources for the steadily increasing number of fuel-cell vehicles on the roads. The initiative links in with the existing H2 Mobility and Clean Energy Partnership infrastructure projects, which are being subsidised by the National Innovation Programme for hydrogen and fuel-cell technology (NIP) in Germany.
The initiative that Linde and Daimler are embarking upon involves investment running into the tens of millions, and is set to more than triple the number of public hydrogen refuelling points in Germany. The new stations will be located in the current hydrogen centres of Stuttgart, Berlin and Hamburg as well as along two new continuous north-south and east-west axes. The aim is to use existing sites belonging to different petroleum companies that are strategically located in the traffic network. This will make it possible to drive anywhere in Germany with a fuel-cell-powered vehicle for the first time. One of the focal points for the infrastructure’s extension will be in Baden-Württemberg, where, 125 years after the invention of the motor car, the stage is being set for its reinvention.
“Together with the fuel cell, hydrogen is set to be of fundamental importance to the expansion of electromobility,” explained Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. “We are delighted to be able to play such an instrumental role in shaping this development together with Daimler. We see ourselves as providing an impetus for existing initiatives, such as H2 Mobility and the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), and wish to support the commercialisation of hydrogen vehicles as best we can. By systematically developing hydrogen technology, Germany can assume a pioneering role in this field and establish itself as the industry leader as we move towards emission-free mobility.”
“The fuel cell represents a decisive step forward for electromobility, as it enables zero-emission driving with high ranges and short refuelling times – and not just for passenger cars, but for commercial vehicles, too. In partnership with Linde, we are now taking the next step by getting things going on the infrastructure side. Twenty new hydrogen filling stations will give the market a major stimulus,” remarked Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the finish of the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive in Stuttgart. Having started off from Stuttgart at the end of January, the first circumnavigation of the globe in fuel-cell vehicles took in four continents and 14 countries. Each of the vehicles involved covered over 30,000 kilometres. Linde accompanied the F-CELL World Drive as the exclusive hydrogen partner, providing the zero-emission vehicles with a mobile supply of hydrogen for the duration of the tour.
Construction and commissioning of the new filling stations will begin in 2012. Other partners from the petroleum, power supply or automotive industries, for instance, are welcome to become involved in the joint initiative that has been set up by Daimler and Linde.
Edited by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]