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Daimler, Linde to invest €20M in 20 new H2 fueling stations in Germany, 13 by end of 2015; green hydrogen

Daimler and The Linde Group are partnering with oil and gas companies TOTAL, OMV, Avia and Hoyer this year to build 20 new hydrogen fueling stations in Germany, with 13 to be completed by the end of 2015. Daimler and Linde are each investing around €10 million for ten fueling stations each. The ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative, of which Daimler, Linde, TOTAL and OMV are also part, agreed last year on a detailed plan of action to expand the hydrogen fueling network to around 400 stations by 2023. (Earlier post.)

Linde already secures half of the hydrogen for existing Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) hydrogen fueling stations from “green” sources, and it will power the 20 new stations with fully regenerative hydrogen. The gas is obtained from crude glycerol—a by-product of biodiesel production—at a dedicated pilot plant at Linde’s gases center in Leuna. (Earlier post.) The plant reprocesses, pyrolyzes and reforms raw glycerol to produce hydrogen.

Linde also has other sustainable sources at its disposal such as bio-gas and water electrolysis using wind-generated electricity, as part of the H2BER project.

Linde notes that the production of hydrogen from raw glycerol or biogas has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 - 80% compared to conventional hydrogen production processes, once it has been brought onto an industrial scale.

The first of the Daimler- and Linde-initiated public fueling stations for fuel-cell vehicles was officially opened 29 September at a TOTAL multi-energy fueling station on Jafféstraße in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The following locations have been earmarked for additional stations by the end of 2015:

  • TOTAL: Geiselwind, Bavaria, on the A3; Fellbach, Stuttgart region; Ulm; Karlsruhe; Neuruppin, Brandenburg, on the A24; Cologne-Bonn Airport; and Berlin city center (upgrade of the existing fueling station at Holzmarktstraße).

  • OMV: Greater Munich area; Greater Nuremberg area; and Greater Stuttgart area.

  • AVIA: Stuttgart-East

  • Hoyer: Leipzig, in the vicinity of the A14

Negotiations on the details and construction of the remaining seven refueling locations with additional partners are at an advanced stage. The National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) is supporting the project as part of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology National Innovation Programme (NIP).

There is no question that fuel-cell technology is reaching maturity. From 2017, we are planning to bring competitively priced fuel-cell vehicles to market. So now is the time to build a nationwide fueling infrastructure. The aim is to enable motorists to reach any destination in Germany in their hydrogen-fueled vehicles. This initiative is a huge step forward on the journey to a truly nationwide H2 network.

—Professor Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research & Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG

From 2017, Daimler AG plans to bring mass-produced competitively priced fuel-cell electric vehicles to market. To speed up technology optimisation and minimise investment costs, the company formed an alliance with Ford and Nissan at the start of 2013 for the joint development of a drive concept. Experts reckon that in 2018, well over ten thousand fuel-cell vehicles will populate European roads.

By the end of 2015, the number of H2 fueling stations in Germany is set to reach 50 with the support of the Federal Ministry for Transport along with partner companies and organizations.

In July this year, Linde opened a first small-scale production facility for hydrogen fueling stations in Vienna. (Earlier post.)

Comments

Davemart

It looks as though the technology which critics said could not work is being made to work, and the infrastructure which could and would never be rolled out is being rolled out.

SJC

Yes, many predictions have been made, one of our posters predicted $6 per gallon gasoline 6 years ago, so much for predictions. Envisioning a miles of wireless highways rather than hydrogen fueling stations was another. I like going with things that will actually happen.

Davemart

I certainly was one of those who thought $6/gal likely by now, although I certainly did not make a firm prediction of it, as I was well aware that it was hugely uncertain.

Who said that by 2014 we would have miles of wireless highways?

I am not aware of any poster here who have done so, but no doubt you have full and conclusive evidence that thar was the case, or you would not have said so.

And what predictions have you made about things which came to pass, as that is your preference and your ability?

SJC

Envisioning is not predicting. Prediction is difficult, especially when it is about the future.

HarveyD

REs and H2 stations (and FCEVs) may have a promising future in many countries reluctant to increase the use of fossil fuels.

Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, India (and many others), without enough fossil fuels will probably lead.

USA and Canada will continue to use fossil fuels to the last drops regardless of GHGs.

Davemart

'Envisioning is not predicting. Prediction is difficult, especially when it is about the future.'

It is safer in such matters, as in all, to study and conform to the bible.

In this case by making the predictions retrospective, and saying that the prophets predicted just what came to pass a couple of hundred years ago.

The practise has been assiduously taken up and mastered by numerous think tanks.

What sort of spoil sport checks back anyway?

HarveyD

With the planned 400 H2 stations, Germany will soon have a practical national network that many posters claimed to be impossible a few months ago.

If Germany can do it, so can Japan, England, France, South Korea, California and many others in the same (2023) time frame.

This could also become a boost for Wind and Solar energy industries.

SJC

Some posters said it SHOULD not be done, that it was a waste of time and resources. The follow on was that everyone should drop everything and go with THEIR solution. One example of the the argument is it will not solve ALL our problems so forget it.

I like an "all the above" strategy, you get 10% here, 5% there and all total it adds up. I think it is good to keep track of opinion accuracy for credibility. Many people have opinions, but not all of them are valid.

electric-car-insider.com

>From 2017, Daimler AG plans to bring mass-produced competitively priced fuel-cell electric vehicles to market.

Will the fuel be competitively priced too?

when EVs reach 200 mile range, H2 will have to be competitive with $1gge electricity.

Davemart

'when EVs reach 200 mile range, H2 will have to be competitive with $1gge electricity.'

What both have to reach competitiveness with first is ICE in total lifetime costs and convenience.

The DOE puts the progress of both at around level pegging, and since I don't happen to know more than the DOE or all the major car manufacturers who are developing both and seeing what happens, I am content to go along with infinitely more expert opinion than mine.

Since it is also extremely easy to design a plug in PHEV should it be more economic for fuel cost reasons to do so, your point would seem to be moot.

I don't know how things will pan out.

Neither do others who post on the subject, although so many imagine that the experts have missed a trick and if they only asked Joe Blogger they could tell them what is what.

I do however have the advantage of knowing that I don't know, which others have not realised! ;-O

Davemart

'The DOE puts the progress of both at around level pegging'

S/be level pegging in time to reach a fully competitive cost.
Currently of course BEVs and PHEVs using ICE of course have a lead, but fuel cells and hydrogen are advancing a lot faster.

Bob Wallace

Apparently Tesla is purchasing their batteries from Panasonic for $180/kWh. This is much lower than any number I've seen before.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/battery-storage-costs-plunge-below100kwh-19365

If Tesla/Panasonic can create a 30% cost drop with the new giga factory that will mean EV batteries for ~$125/kWh.

If the $180/$125 numbers prove true then we're looking at long range EVs selling at or below the cost of same-model EVs.


H2 FCEVs are going to find it harder and harder to gain a toehold in the market with that sort of purchase price and lower operating cost competition.

SJC

Audi has North Sea wind with biogas, biogass has CO2 so making more methane can work. Europe may pay much more for natural gas than the U.S. this is why what seems odd here can make sense there.

Davemart

Bob:
Those costs are at the cell level.
Tesla still have to make them into a pack, and they use a pretty sophisticated cooling system, as NCA chemistry heats up quickly.

Lithium sulphur batteries, one of the most promising chemistries we have for lower costs and higher specific energy, unfortunately is low on energy density, ie the Wh/Ltr are only as good as, if that, as present chemistries.

So that would be bulky packs to design in.

There are also loads of different possibilities to reduce costs of fuel cells, and costs are dropping far faster than batteries, so like the DOE, I just don't know how they are going to compare in the future.

Davemart

@SJC:
One resource we do have in Europe is coal, mostly offshore in the UK and Norway.

I am not a great believer in carbon sequestration, which uses at least a third of the energy, and costs a fortune for normal coal thermal plants.

The underground coal gasification being developed right now for these offshore deposits may be a very different matter though, as the carbon is sequestered, they hope, right there.

The resource here and in the US, on-shore, is gigantic, so there may be plentiful low carbon sources for hydrogen/methanol powered cars.

Bob Wallace

Davemart- Yes, those are cell prices. The don't include packaging and electronics.

But the $180/kWh is less than the $250/kWh price threshold at which EVs reach ICEV prices.

Perhaps there are ways to lower the cost of fuel cells, but there's still the high operating cost of running on hydrogen. It takes >2x as much electricity and requires extensive infrastructure.

I don't care whether EVs or H2 FCEVs replace petroleum. That leaves me free to look objectively at the math for both.

HarveyD

For longer term, lower cost, clean H2 from REs (Solar-Wind-Hydro etc) and low cost, long lasting, very quick refill FCEVs will compete with Extended range quick charge BEVs.

FCs may be more suited for Heavy vehicles (buses, cargo trucks, Heavy machinery, locomotives, ships) and extra long range private vehicles operating in colder places.

Extended range EVs (Tesla style) will also be an interesting solution for many users.

Both technologies will eventually replace most ICEVs starting in 2020 or so. By 2040 or so, the transition out of ICEVs will be well engaged.

Davemart

@Bob said:
'Perhaps there are ways to lower the cost of fuel cells, but there's still the high operating cost of running on hydrogen. It takes >2x as much electricity and requires extensive infrastructure.'

According to the DOE the infrastructure costs of hydrogen and electric vehicles are in fact similar, as it needs a lot less hydrogen stations to refuel cars than charge points.

For a start something would have to be done for the ~50% of cars kept by the road.
Getting them somewhere to plug in would be neither cheap nor easy.

In any case the cost according to the DOE is in any case relatively minor compared to that of the new vehicles, around 5% of the cost.

As for it taking twice as much electricity to produce the hydrogen as to run a BEV, that assumes it comes from electricity in the first place, which is far from always the case.

It also assumes that it is a straight fight between BEVs and FCEVs.

If instead PHEV FCEVs are used, then the hydrogen is simply used to make the extra ~70kwh of batteries needed for decent range unnecessary, and any extra losses from going through the hydrogen stage is minimised.

And the assumption is that the electricity is there when it is needed to charge the car, which is not always true for renewables.

I do have preferences in what I would like to see, although I don't know which will win.

They are in favour of as light a vehicle as possible, as transport is moving mass across distance, so the less the mass the better.

So inductive through the road charging would be the best, with a small battery pack.

Next would be high temperature fuel cells in a PHEV, as they could use any liquid fuel without needing a heavy pressurised container, and would for short journeys have the efficiency of batteries.

Next is a tie between hydrogen fuel cell PHEVs and BEVs, depending on progress in both.

At the moment I like PHEVs, as no away from home charging is needed, and it seems the cost differential can be lowest.

I don't know how costs will compare in thee future though, so I have no idea how things will work out.

Bob Wallace

"According to the DOE the infrastructure costs of hydrogen and electric vehicles are in fact similar, as it needs a lot less hydrogen stations to refuel cars than charge points."

Simple electric outlets, even metered, are not going to be expensive. Installing outlets where people park during the day would mean a valuable source of dispatchable load for utilities which would quickly pay for the outlets.

"And the assumption is that the electricity is there when it is needed to charge the car, which is not always true for renewables"

Which is not a problem. EVs will need, on average, less than three hours per day. As we move into higher range EVs many cars will be able to skip one or more days of charging. The ability of EVs to be a dispatchable load will greatly assist the incorporation of renewables onto the grid.

"As for it taking twice as much electricity to produce the hydrogen as to run a BEV, that assumes it comes from electricity in the first place"

Obtaining H2 from natural gas would be a planet destroyer. Plus we simply don't have enough NG to follow that route for many years.

PHEVs are likely to become non-competitive soon. PHEVs and hybrids apparently won't be viable with battery prices under $350/kWh. (First link.) Which is where we may already be. (Second link.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=http://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/07/electric-vehicle-adoption.jpg&w=1484

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/battery-storage-costs-plunge-below100kwh-19365

Pmpjunkie01

@Bob Wallace: If Tesla pays $180 to Panasonic that is a decent premium over commodity pricing for 18650 cells currently around $110-150 depending on chemistry. Since Tesla engineered out a lot of the costly items in a standard latpop cell I doubt they pay that much.

As far as competition between EV's and HFCEV's: Tesla's cost to build a Supercharger station has been reported to be between $100-175k

http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/26/inside-teslas-supercharger-partner-program-the-costs-and-commitments-of-electrifying-road-transport/

For the €20M (~$25M) mentioned here they can roughly build 150 - 250 Supercharger stations. Given that ~90% of charging in an EV happens at home this would serve ten times as many customers as a hydrogen station. Now you divide that by two since a supercharger takes about twice as long to service a car and you get down to 5 times as many customers. So you will have to spend around five times as much on infrastructure to dispense a fuel that is about five times more expensive than electricity.

Good luck trying to compete!

Davemart

@Bob:

There are all sorts of ideas floating around.
I prefer the DOE figures.

The Washington Post's notions, for a start, don't in the link you give specify what electric range they deem acceptable.

I said that there are other sources of hydrogen besides electrolysis, I did not specify natural gas, as there are others.

Efficiency is also not the only criteria, or no one would drive a big car, and in any case the losses even assuming hydrogen by electrolyses could be minimised if that is a problem by PHEV designs.

gorr

It's the best hydrogen article I read in one year. Im more confident that the germans will succeed at it than California as Germany have better engineers and they seam to have a head-start and be more interested as their fossil gasoline and diesel cost way more than in the u.s.a.

HarveyD

The real cost of H2 stations versus ultra quick charge EV Stations is exagerated.

Since H2 (for 500+ Km) can be transfered to an FCEV much faster than enough electricity (for 500+ Km) into a BEV.

Multiple H2 fill ups will be easy by adding high pressure distribution lines from a common high pressure H2 tank while more high capacity chargers will be required for multiple EV stations.

The cost (per vehicle fill up) facilities may not be that different.

Mannstein

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

SJC

The Germans are serious about renewable methane, it is not just Audi A3 wind, it is now gasifying glycerol from bio diesel. If you have wind power and CO2 from coal fired power plants you can make synthetic methane to make up for the lack of natural gas. It beats getting it from Russia.

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