Linde and Daimler press ahead with development of infrastructure for fuel-cell vehicles
Jun 01, 2011
Joint project agreed to build 20 hydrogen (H2) filling stations in Germany
Significant contribution for Germany as the lead market for electromobility
Major impetus for existing H2 infrastructure initiatives
Stuttgart/Munich, 1 June 2011 – Car manufacturer Daimler and the technology company The Linde Group are pressing ahead with the development of an infrastructure for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles. Over the coming 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). This places Germany at the international forefront of hydrogen infrastructure development.
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. 20 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 already start 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.
Background: the infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations in Germany
The successful introduction of fuel-cell vehicles depends on the development of a public hydrogen supply infrastructure. The first centres have already sprung up in large metropolitan areas, such as Berlin and Hamburg. There are nearly 30 hydrogen refuelling points in Germany at the current time, seven of which are integrated into a public filling station facility. This means that Germany clearly leads the way in Europe. To begin with, just five to ten filling stations are sufficient for conveniently servicing the requirements of a large city. Joining up these urban centres – for example Berlin with Hamburg, Stuttgart with Munich – by means of corridors along the arterial roads between them is a major step forward towards the establishment of a nationwide public H2 infrastructure.