BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and a host of hydrogen fuel companies have agreed to deploy a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in several European locations including Copenhagen, London and Munich and develop new clusters of hydrogen refueling stations in a deal worth £31 million ($51.5 million).
Locations are being sought for three new hydrogen refueling stations in London, one in Aarhus and in Odense, Denmark, and one in Innsbruck, Austria as well as other locations in Sweden, Germany and Italy. They are expected to be operational by 2015, by which time some of the manufacturers in the partnership will have started to put hydrogen-fueled cars on sale in some European markets.
These stations will share internationally agreed fuel and refueling standards. All of the partners in the project see the initial investment to build small clusters of stations as key to gaining the research knowledge that will demonstrate the viability of hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
Using hydrogen gas as a fuel to generate electric power the vehicles produces no harmful tailpipe emissions – only water vapor. They have the potential to be more than twice as fuel-efficient as conventionally powered vehicles and operate very quietly, according to the Mayor of London’s office, whoch hosted the launch event.
Hydrogen fuel companies involved in the deal include Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, ITM Power, Linde and OMV. Other signatories include Element Energy, PE International, the Institute for Innovative Technology and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
A seven-year US Department of Energy demonstration project released in 2012 to evaluate hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, found rapid progress in driving ranges and durability of fuel cell stacks.
The DOE in 2003 established interim, high-level technical targets for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, to be reached by 2009, which included a 250-mile driving range, 2,000-hour fuel cell durability and $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent for hydrogen production cost.