Germany Commits to Hydrogen Cars

Germany will invest heavily in hydrogen refueling stations for fuel cell vehicles over the next few years.

The H2 Mobility initiative—which brings together Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell, and Total—aims to build 400 hydrogen refueling stations in Germany by the end of 2023 at a cost of 350 million euros.

One hundred hydrogen refueling stations will be built in the next four years, with plans to offer H2 stations every 90 kilometres of motorway between densely populated areas. The new refueling stations will support the launch of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the German market beginning in 2015.

Hydrogen technology has a patchy history. Over the years, Toyota, General Motors and others have all invested billions of dollars in R&D to turn hydrogen into the fuel of the future. But it’s remained on the fridges, and in recent years it’s lost out to the electric battery.

A hydrogen full cell however, has several advantages over the electric battery. It’s much lighter for one, and it takes less time to refuel than it does to recharge an electric car.

The disadvantage of hydrogen fuel cells is that they’re expensive, plus the process used to produce hydrogen can release significant amounts of greenhouse gasses – in some ways negating the environmental benefits of driving the vehicle itself.

Do you believe that the hydrogen car is the future?

Image: BMW Hydrogen 7 by Niall Kennedy on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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