The energy companies Shell Hydrogen and Total France, along with automakers BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor, GM, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, and Volkswagen AG have issued a common position paper defining a joint approach to advance hydrogen as a fuel for road transport in Europe.
The companies have decided that a joint approach between energy companies and vehicle manufacturers is required to bridge the gap between the present individual demonstration activities and future commercially available hydrogen vehicles including the corresponding refueling infrastructure.
Each company is pursuing its own specific timelines, but the group has commonly identified key phases over the next decade, comprising continuous technology development and cost reduction, pre-commercial technology refinement and market preparation, with commercialization of hydrogen powered vehicles potentially starting around 2015.
A key priority is to concentrate efforts on a focused region for passenger cars, leveraging all resources in order to maximize learnings. Based on these requirements, the group sees these Lighthouse Projects initially rolling out in Berlin for cars and city buses, and in additional selected cities and regions for city buses.
All lessons learned will be shared across all regions, as will continuing education and outreach.