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Germany to expand nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations from 15 to 50 by 2015

The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and several industrial companies signed a joint Letter of Intent to expand the network of hydrogen filling stations in Germany from 15 to 50.

As part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP), Germany’s federal government and industrial sector are investing more than €40 million (US$51 million) to expand the country’s network of hydrogen filling stations. This is to serve as a market-relevant testing of filling-station technology and ensure a needs-driven supply for the 5,000 fuel cell vehicles that are expected to be on the road in Germany at that time. The expansion plan focuses on the country’s metropolitan regions and the creation of corridors connecting these metropolitan regions.

The Letter of Intent was signed by Federal Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer and representatives of the companies Air Liquide, Air Products, Daimler, Linde and Total Germany. The federal government’s own NOW GmbH (National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) will coordinate the construction of the filling stations.

The network of hydrogen filling stations accompanies the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles that the automobile industry has announced for 2014/15.

Mobility using hydrogen is already being extensively and successfully tested for everyday use. As the largest demonstration project in the area of hydrogen mobility, the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) has been doing groundwork since 2002 and continues to collect valuable research and practical results on filling station technology and infrastructure. The standards developed by the partnership will now be used to successfully introduce hydrogen as a fuel in Germany.

Electric vehicles equipped with a battery and fuel cell will make a considerable contribution to sustainable mobility in the future. However, the success of fuel cell technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure. Together with Linde, we took the initiative in 2011 and decided to jointly establish 20 of the H2 filling stations sponsored by the BMVBS in Germany. Because it is very customer-friendly—with its great range and short refilling times—fuel cell technology has enormous potential for massively advancing Germany on its path to becoming the lead market for electric mobility.

—Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development



A PHEV with a low cost very small (15 KW or so) FC could be an interesting alternative, at lest until such times as 100+ KWh low cost light weight battery packs become available.

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