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It's getting easier and easier to ignore gas stations.

Over in Europe, the H2 refueling infrastructure is apparently robust enough to allow a pair of hydrogen-powered Hyundai iX35 (Tuscon) FCEVs to drive from Oslo, Norway to Monte Carlo, Monaco. Almost, anyway.

Yes, the 1,404-mile, cross-continental drive was, according to Wired, the "longest a hydrogen-fueled vehicle has ever travelled using only fuel from permanent hydrogen filling stations." As some readers may remember, similar previous tours have relied on refueling trucks to go the distance. The Oslo-Monte Carlo drive took five days and wasn't as easy as pie. An out-of-service station meant a ferry was needed for some of the trip. Also, since not all the H2 stations are open to the public, a few pre-arrival phone calls were needed. One lesson learned: Germany has the best network of H2 pumps; France and Sweden are less developed.

The Norwegian Zero Emissions Resource Organization (ZERO) organized the trip, using h2stations.org to find the route. As Wired writes, the whole trip, "highlighted just how far ahead of the rest of the world Europe's hydrogen infrastructure is, and also how much more work needs to be done before hydrogen becomes a viable fuel source for vehicles."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      Ernie Dunbar
      • 2 Months Ago
      That's nothing. The University of British Columbia Engineering team built an electric car that went all the way across Canada - over 3900 miles - with already previously-installed infrastructure. Mostly RV campgrounds. It's almost like that infrastructure already exists...
        Dave
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Ernie Dunbar
        Lets see....$40 a night for a campsite so you can recharge and go another 73 miles. Thats 55 cents a mile for fuel.
      Dave
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Also, there is no good way to generate the stuff other than using craptons of electricity ( usually coal ) to convert natural gas ( another fossil fuel ) into hydrogen." Nonsense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_production
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Months Ago
      Okay thanks. Any companies in the U.S. willing to put their own money to finance 100% of the H2 infrastructure (which would cost much more in the contiguous U.S.)???
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Months Ago
      The German government is subsidizing "green" energy projects all across the board, trying to reduce their dependence on nuclear power. However, private enterprise is making a substantial investment as well: "Germany will become the first country completely accessible to fuel cell vehicles in 2015, when carmaker Daimler and the Linde technology group will build 20 new hydrogen filling stations. The result will quadruple the number of public stations available and make it possible for a fuel cell vehicle to reach any location in the country." http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=will-germany-become-first-nation-with-hydrogen-economy
      • 2 Months Ago
      I am surprised that hydrogen will find adoption through passenger vehicles first, when commercial vehicles are a far more viable application. Certainly, buses, forklifts, port hauling trucks, etc. are adopting hydrogen fuel cells as the clean quiet renewable alternative, but long haul trucks would really benefit from electric drive and increased efficiency.
        Dave
        • 2 Months Ago
        http://www.truckinginfo.com/fuel-smarts/news-detail.asp?news_id=76783&news_category_id=63
        DaveMart
        • 2 Months Ago
        Ballard are making a lot of the early running in putting fuel cells into heavier duty vehicles, particularly buses. The rest of the fuel cell manufacturers are really trying to get production numbers up and costs down as quickly as possible. Doing that via cars mean that you only need to sell a tiny fraction of all cars to build fuel cells in considerable numbers, whereas market penetration in buses and trucks would need to be much higher, although still fairly small. Really we don't have to take too much notice about what they are going into now. The real issue is getting the numbers of fuel cells up and the costs down.
      Dave
      • 2 Months Ago
      2WM- Keep reading. You clearly have no idea how SMR works. Nor do you understand the S-I process, no doubt.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Months Ago
      'Hyundai promised production-level hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2013 and is keeping that promise, planning on rolling out the first thousand late this year.' And: 'The vehicle of choice will be the Tucson ix, based on the small crossover of the same name, with a sticker price of $88,550 before incentives. Hyundai's goal is to have their fuel cell vehicles selling for under $50,000 by 2015, putting them well ahead of the curve as the only other company to announce possible pricing for their FCVs is Toyota, who plans to have theirs at that level on release (likely at an initial loss, as with the Prius in the late 1990s). Hyundai plans to be selling 10,000 units per year by 2015.' And: 'While Hyundai has not given details about where these first thousand hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will land, it's almost assured that most will be sent to Europe. Any that come to North America are likely to release (in limited numbers) in the Los Angeles area, where many HFCV prototypes including the Honda FCX Clarity have been testing.' http://www.torquenews.com/1080/hyundai-roll-out-1000-hydrogen-cars-year
        DaveMart
        • 2 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        The Peugeot diesel hybrid starts at £27,000 here in the UK. That includes 20% VAT, so the approximate equivalent in US dollars is $34,500 ex VAT which you don't pay. Add whatever premium you fancy for it being a Mercedes instead of a Peugeot, and you have the price. It sounds as though they are talking in the ball-park of $50k the same as everyone else.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        Actually Mercedes have given us, if not a price, a fair guide to what they will sell for: 'Zetsche said that Mercedes-Benz has "not defined prices yet" for the production version of the fuel-cell car. "The target is to be cost-wise by the middle of the decade at the level of the diesel hybrid, which is not cheap, but marketable today," he said. "That would be our first target. It's a challenging target, but a realistic target."' http://www.insideline.com/mercedes-benz/mercedes-benz-fuel-cell-car-ready-for-market-in-2014.html And: '"We intended to go for volume production in 2015, but because of the experience of the world tour we have pulled forward." He said volume production would begin in 2014. Mercedes says the fuel cell will have a range of 250 miles.' Critics have long maintained that fuel cell vehicles are always being put back in to the distance. Well, not anymore.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Months Ago
      by all means offer them for sale..
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Future" That counts as "NEW" infrastructure. Don't count your pumps before their installed.
      Rick
      • 2 Months Ago
      Great point to point long range capability this fits seamlessly in the same way as using fossil fuels when they become depleted. This is the future it fits seamless way. Brit inventor will soon have hydrogen polymer bead fuels that are less inert than gasoline can be used straight away in a 1950's T-Bird with no conversions required, and all that comes out the tailpipe is water, the old T-Bird will cleaner better for environment than a brand new Prius. Hydrogen fuel bead cells is now going through final testing, and will be delivered by tanker and is less inert to fill-up than filling up with gasoline at your local filling station. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1351341/Relief-pumps-Revolutionary-hydrogen-fuel-cost-just-90p-GALLON-run-existing-cars.html Well done Hyundai, but l would prefer to run a hydrogen polymer bead cell classic 50's T-Bird something with a bit more character, personality & longevity thats built to last a bit longer than 15 years than throw it away job, throwaway thats not good for the environment.
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Months Ago
      Many EV fans claimed that EVs have zero emissions and they are wrong. Many hydrogen fuel cell advocates claim that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have zero emissions and they are more wrong than people that claim EVs are zero emission vehicles. Virtually all commercially available hydrogen comes from steam reforming of natural gas which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Then there's the issue of methane leakage (the main component of natural gas) and methane has about 20 times the warming effect of CO2. If you are thinking about hydrogen from electrolysis read the following article for the final nail in the coffin of hydrogen. http://phys.org/news85074285.html
        DaveMart
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        'Virtually all commercially available hydrogen comes from steam reforming of natural gas' That's because it is the cheapest way at present. For a small premium hydrogen can be produced in a host of different ways. What is your alternative, keep burning that infinite supply of oil the Lord created in the six days he made the world?
      • 2 Months Ago
      We don't have the infrastructure for hydrogen, but we do for electric, and they can make an electric car that will go more then 300 miles today and require very little maintenance. The price of batteries will come down as they mass produce them.
        Chechnya
        • 2 Months Ago
        We can't wait 15-30 years for the price to "come down." Electric vehicles are a pipe dream that no one will buy into. All of the big automakers have already pumped billions into hydrogen R&D.. and there's no going back.
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