The six partners in the “H2 Mobility” initiative – Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total – have agreed on a specific action plan for the construction of a German hydrogen refueling network for fuel cell powered electric vehicles.
By 2023, the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure shall be expanded to about 400 H2 filling stations.
As a first step the deployment of 100 hydrogen stations in Germany over the next 4 years is expected. This would ensure a need-related supply for fuel cell powered electric vehicles to be introduced into the market in the next years.
An agreement in principle has been signed by representatives of all the partners involved.
In addition to plans for a nationwide filling station network, the agreement includes the principles for the procurement and distribution of the necessary hydrogen and a request for support to the German Federal Government.
Following the foundation of a joint venture (subject to necessary regulatory approvals), gradual expansion of the national filling station network will start next year. This means that an H2 supply suitable for everyday use shall be created not only for densely populated areas and main traffic arteries, but also for rural areas.
Daimler said the objective is to offer an H2 station at least every 90 kilometers of highway between densely populated areas. According to this plan in metropolitan areas, drivers of fuel cell powered vehicles will have at least 10 hydrogen refueling stations available, starting in 2023.
The partners thus believe zero tailpipe emission H2-mobility will be increasingly attractive for customers.
The “H2 Mobility” initiative expects that a total investment of around €350 million will be required for this future-oriented infrastructure project.
The launch of fuel cell powered production vehicles on the German market has been announced by manufacturers for 2015. In addition to attractive procurement and operating costs for the vehicles, a need-related number of H2 filling stations is one of the major preconditions for market success.
Accordingly the planned “H2 Mobility” joint venture will work closely with the automobile industry.
Daimler also said that fuel cell powered electric vehicles can make a considerable contribution to establishing Germany as the lead market for sustainable mobility solutions and efficient technologies. This is because the great advantage of this drive technology lies in the significant reduction of CO2 emissions.