Daimler, Linde and TOTAL are continuing their joint plans for the expansion of the national hydrogen infrastructure.
After the openings at the Geiselwind motorway service area, the first H2 filling station on the autobahn, and at two locations in Berlin, the partners have now taken another step towards a nationwide supply network for locally emission-free electric vehicles with fuel cells.
Today at the TOTAL multi-energy filling station in Fellbach, Dr Veit Steinle, Director-General, Departmental Policy Issues at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, joined Ministerial Director Helmfried Meinel of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy, in symbolically refuelling the first vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. The TOTAL multi-energy filling station Fellbach is the fifth H2 station in Baden-Wuerttemberg. More hydrogen filling stations will follow in the months ahead.
Mr Meinel, who heads the State Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy, emphasized how important it is to the Baden-Wuerttemberg state government to support the establishment of Germany’s H2 infrastructure: “Hydrogen and fuel cells have great potential to become a key technology for environmentally friendly mobility. They can help us to reduce our dependence on oil imports.”
He added that hydrogen could also play an important role in many other areas, for example, as a temporary storage medium for electricity from renewable energy sources. “In the past three years, the Environment Ministry has invested a total of four million euros in promoting Baden-Wuerttemberg’s H2 infrastructure in in the form of hydrogen filling stations and facilities for producing and storing renewable hydrogen through the H2BW innovation programme. To continue encouraging the development of this infrastructure, we have launched another programme called ‘Power to Hydrogen’, with which we are supporting the large-scale production, distribution and use of hydrogen from renewable sources. The state is making a total of 1.4 million euros available for this purpose in 2015 and 2016.”
Hydrogen fuelling technology is largely standardised at this point. Last year, Linde inaugurated the world’s first small-series production facility for hydrogen fuelling stations in Vienna. The TOTAL multi-energy station in Fellbach uses a compact 700-bar fuelling technology that is also ideally suited for retrofitting existing, conventional filling stations.
50 hydrogen filling stations nationwide by 2016 as part of the CEP
The construction of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany is accompanied by the planned market ramp-up of fuel-cell cars from various manufacturers. By 2016, an initial strategic stage is being realised in an R&D funding context: 50 hydrogen filling stations – built and operated as part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) – will supply Germany’s metropolitan areas and main corridors.
With 50 hydrogen filling stations, nationwide mobility between metropolitan areas and along the main traffic arteries will be possible throughout Germany. As part of this expansion programme, the Daimler-Linde initiative is participating in a total of 20 new H2 stations with a total investment of approximately 20 million euros.
Daimler plans to start marketing competitive fuel-cell vehicles from 2017. One advantage of electric vehicles with fuel cells is their high range of about 400 to 500 kilometres. However, the great potential of this technology lies is primarily its very short fuelling time that indicates. The gradual expansion of the H2 infrastructure represents one of the most important factors for a successful launch of such vehicles.
Linde, with around 100 filling stations set up in 15 countries, has for many years been a leader in hydrogen technology. The company operates the world’s first small-series production facility for H2 fuelling stations in Vienna, where it uses the IC90 ionic compressor, which was developed by Linde and combines advantages in power consumption, maintenance and noise.
TOTAL has been a trailblazer in building a Germany-wide H2 service station infrastructure since 2002. Eight of the 19 public H2 filling stations now open in Germany are TOTAL multi-energy service stations. Other hydrogen filling stations are planned in Ulm, Karlsruhe and at Cologne airport. In Fellbach, TOTAL paid for all construction and permitting costs, and handled the project management for building the hydrogen technology, including service and maintenance components.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the project as part of its National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). The programme is managed by NOW GmbH (National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology).