Global automakers are taking a European road trip together to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. On September 13, seven different fuel cell cars from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota started a one-month tour with stopovers planned for nine European cities as a way to introduce more people to the technology.

The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 will start in Hamburg, then travel through Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen, supported by local organizations in each city (see map above, where the land parts are oddly shaded blue, Buster-style).

The road show is part of the "H2moves Scandinavia" project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking program launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders.

The project's mission is reaching out to politicians, industry leaders, the press and the public to improve awareness and support for fuel cell electric vehicles. Along with that comes trying to gin up support for the hydrogen distribution infrastructure to keep these fuel cell vehicles fueled up.

A few automakers have been on this route for years. "Toyota has been active in fuel cell technology for the last 20 years and we are working to commercialise our next-generation fuel cell car by 2015," Michel Gardel, Vice-President Communications, External and Environment Affairs of Toyota Motor Europe, said in a statement, which you can find below.
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International car manufacturers join forces in the name of hydrogen!

Stuttgart, Sep 12, 2012

September 13 marks an extraordinary milestone in the history of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). Four international car manufacturers will join forces to demonstrate hydrogen-powered FCEVs are not just technologies of the future but of today. A total of 7 FCEVs from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will bring their individual hydrogen fuel cell systems to the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012.

The tour will last one month, with special event stopovers in nine European cities, where interested public will be given the opportunity to experience the benefits of this alternative drivetrain. Several cities on the tour route will be the first opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive FCEVs where the only emission is water.

The event aims to reach out to politicians, industry leaders, press and public to help improve awareness around FCEVs, delivering a clear message. While the technology exists for Hydrogen Vehicles today, there is a real need to improve the European hydrogen distribution infrastructure. This tour also marks the most widespread effort to promote FCEVs in Europe this year.

Starting in Hamburg on September 13th, the FCEVs from participating manufacturers will afterwards move through Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen, supported by local organisations in each city. H2 Logic Denmark will provide mobile refuelling stations in some stopover cities.

The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the "H2moves Scandinavia" project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders. The project focusses on gaining customer acceptance for hydrogen-powered FCEVs and preparing the market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The experience from operating 19 FCEVs in Oslo and Copenhagen and the corresponding hydrogen refuelling infrastructure shows that the technology is reliable now even in harsh Scandinavian winters.

Michel Gardel, Vice-President Communications, External and Environment Affairs of Toyota Motor Europe today commented: "Toyota has been active in fuel cell technology for the last 20 years and we are working to commercialise our next-generation fuel cell car by 2015. The European Hydrogen Road Tour is a great opportunity for our company and partners to demonstrate the readiness of the technology to European consumers."

Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, Director drive development fuel cell system, Daimler AG points out the importance of this technology: "On our way to zero-emission mobility fuel cell electric vehicles - with their great range while at the same time short refueling times - will play a central role for the future. However, the success of this technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure."

Thomas Brachmann, Automobile Engineering & Research, Honda R&D Europe (Deutschland) GmbH remarked that "Honda believe fuel cell electric vehicles are the ultimate mobility solution, providing a practical, clean and near silent answer to transport requirements. The European Hydrogen Road Tour offers a great opportunity to give the public, the media and government officials a chance to experience this zero emission technology for themselves."

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe describes their reasons for joining the tour: "Hyundai is proud to be playing an integral role in the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012. The Hyundai ix35 FCEV clearly demonstrates not only our commitment to producing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, but also the benefits of FCEV. As the availability and performance of this technology improves, we can look forward to FCEVs providing sustainable mobility to future generations while dramatically reducing climate change."


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  • 15 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      With one or two hydrogen station on that road, it would have been possible to do the entire trip in less then 24 hours without pollution. If they take one month it's because they do presentations and publicity and pr along the way. Im minding what they will discuss. I guess that they will talk abouth the hydrogen infrastructure and they will say that it's not them that must build it, they will say that because they obviously work for their parent investors big oil. It's easy for them to do an hydrogen infrastruture, they just have to put a hydrogen electrolyzer into the car and that's it : an hydrogen infrastructure is born. But as they work for big oil then they are not releasing these cars and they do tons of patents paids by public subsidies and with these patents they impede anyone else to enter the market in the car and hydrogen infrastructure market. Green for these chaps mean grabbing subsidies from tax payers and do patents then just release some inneficient technologies and hiding the real green technologies and impeding any newcomer to enter the market with these private patents. Their financial portfolio is made of conventionnal technologies like petrol and ice and bev cars and nuclear and green patents hiding in closets not available to compete their own products.
        Dave
        • 1 Day Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I believe that hydrogen fuel cells have great potential. But the facts are simple: Currently, a Prius costs ~$24,000 to buy and 8 cents a mile in fuel. A Civic Natural gas costs ~$26,000 to buy and 6.5 cents a mile in fuel. The automakers know that their BEVs and FCEVs need to compete with the costs and capabilities of these ICE vehicles if they are to succeed in the passenger car market. Hydrogen can be produced economically from natural gas, coal, and nuclear heat. But it does not magically appear when the OEMs "put a hydrogen electrolyzer into the car and that's it"
      mrbell321
      • 2 Years Ago
      Because it's a silly silly map. It's as if the map makers said "Hey, what's the absolute most visually confusing color-scheme we can use? Blue land while every other map in history uses blue for water? Yes, let's do that!" Ok, that's an exaggeration, but surely somewhere in the making of that map someone should have at least thought "Hang on a minute... this might be hard to read"
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm thinking Daimler must have a disgruntled intern or something.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm hoping to go along to see them when they hit Bristol on 4th October, and if I do will be taking along my camera. I'm not sure whether to make videos, as I haven't got around to figuring how to post them for others to see. Probably I will though. The details of where they are appearing are still murky though, and I haven't as yet tracked them down.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK, got it. I usually use the XL version which does not show the upload page.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just offer some for sale and see how that turns out...
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't say I couldn't figure it, I said I have not looked at it yet. There are quite a few facilities on the web I don't use, as I am very serious about protecting my security and privacy. I will check it out though.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I first glanced at the map, I thought it was showing just Denmark and Norway, with the UK being Denmark and Iceland being southern Norway. It took a second to realize that it was all of Northwest Europe. Funny how I just assumed the blue was water.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        @ Ziv Ditto...
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        And now I look at the map again, and I was still mixed up on the water vs. land, I don't know why that map threw me off so much since I though the blue part that is the UK was Denmark...
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Judging by the map, Europe has turned to water, and the Atlantic ocean is covered in snow.
        Dave D
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Dave
        Thank you! I was wondering if it was just me. So what rational person decides to color a map that way? LOL
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