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Electrify America opens its first indoor fast-charging station

Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering open first public pilot subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2) station

In the presence of Rhineland-Palatinate’s Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Petra Dick-Walther, and international media, Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck, and Juergen Nowicki, CEO of Linde Engineering, inaugurated the first public subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2) (earlier post) pilot station in Wörth am Rhein, refueling a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck prototype.


Over the past few years, engineers from Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering have jointly developed sLH2, a new process for handling subcooled liquid hydrogen. When compared to gaseous hydrogen, this innovative approach allows for a higher storage density, a greater range, faster refueling, lower costs and superior energy efficiency. Refueling takes around ten to fifteen minutes for a 40-ton heavy-duty truck, carrying 80 kg of liquid hydrogen for a range of 1,000 kilometers and more.

At the same time, the new sLH2 technology lowers the required investment for a hydrogen refueling station by a factor of two to three, and operational costs are five to six times lower. Today, liquid hydrogen can be supplied reliably throughout Europe.

Compared to regular liquid hydrogen (LH2) refueling technology, the new process uses a new innovative sLH2 pump to increase slightly the pressure of the liquid hydrogen. With this method, the hydrogen becomes subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2). Hydrogen in this state facilitates a very robust fueling process that also keeps energy losses during refueling to a minimum.

Furthermore, no data transmission between the refueling station and vehicle is necessary, which further reduces the complexity of the solution. At the same time, refueling capacity is increased to new levels. The pilot refueling station has a capacity of 400 kg of liquid hydrogen per hour. In comparison to regular liquid or gaseous hydrogen refueling concepts, sLH2 is considerably simpler while delivering increased performance.

Aiming to establish a common refueling standard for hydrogen-powered trucks, the technology is made openly available to all interested parties via an ISO standard.

Zero-emission transport needs three factors: the right battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, the required infrastructure network and cost parity for ZEVs compared to diesel trucks. In terms of vehicles, the transformation is in full swing. In terms of hydrogen infrastructure, we are reaching a major milestone today: With sLH2, hydrogen refueling becomes as convenient as today’s refueling with diesel. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fuel our Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck for a range of more than 1,000 kilometers. We now call on other OEMs and infrastructure companies to follow our approach and jointly make this technology an industry standard.

—Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, responsible for Truck Technology

The new public sLH2 refueling station in Wörth am Rhein, Germany, sets a benchmark in terms of energy efficiency and performance. With energy consumption of only 0.05 KWh/kg, it requires approximately 30 times less energy compared with conventional gaseous hydrogen refueling.

The refueling station has a small footprint of just 50 square meters (not including the dispenser) and allows for configurations where several dispensers for parallel refueling of trucks are possible, as well as back-to-back refueling.

The liquid hydrogen storage tank has a capacity of four tons, sufficient for approximately ten hours of non-stop refueling. Meanwhile, the capacity of the sLH2 fuel station can be increased to more than eight tons per day with refilling. A lower initial investment and operational costs for the sLH2 technology is expected to ultimately result in lower total cost of ownership.

In contrast to current liquid hydrogen (LH2) refueling, the sLH2 process is similar to the convenience of current diesel refueling technology. Due to robust insulation the refueling hose and the design of the interfaces between the nozzle and fuel tank, the process is safe without the possibility of spillage. Therefore, the protective measures required for sLH2 refueling are comparable to those required for diesel.

During the refueling process, cryogenic liquid hydrogen at minus 253 degrees Celsius can be filled into two connected 40 kg tanks mounted on either side of the truck chassis without the need for special safety gear. The sLH2 technology allows for high flow delivery of more than 400 kg of hydrogen per hour and filling 80 kg of liquid hydrogen can be completed in ten to fifteen minutes.


(a) Overview of the fueling interface-components; (b) Overview of system boundaries and interface with focus of standardization effort highlighted in red box. Pizzutilo et al.

Finally, the new process avoids what are known as boil-off effects and “return gas” (gas from the vehicle’s tank returning to the filling station) and therefore only one nozzle is needed to fill the tanks, making sLH2 technology easier to handle. The new refueling station in Wörth will be provided with liquid hydrogen by Linde, which has the largest liquid hydrogen capacity and distribution system in the world.

From mid-2024 onward, five companies are expected to take part in initial customer trials to gain first experience in CO2-free long-distance transport with Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks. The semi-trailer tractors will be deployed in different long-haul applications on specific routes within Germany, and they will be refueled at the now open public sLH2 refueling station in Wörth am Rhein and at a refueling station in the Duisburg area.


  • Pizzutilo, Enrico, Thomas Acher, Benjamin Reuter, Christian Will, and Simon Schäfer (2024) “Subcooled Liquid Hydrogen Technology for Heavy-Duty Trucks” World Electric Vehicle Journal 15, no. 1: 22. doi: 10.3390/wevj15010022 (open access)



I'll repost Gryf's valuable link from the earlier post:

“ Technology Pitch: Subcooled Liquid Hydrogen (sLH2)”

And here is another giving the alternatives in hydrogen storage, including the still more dense cyrogenic:


And another more directly to the point of the advantages of sLH2:


' an insulated stainless steel low pressure tank is sufficient to store sLH2, compared to Type IV high pressure tanks reinforced with carbon fibers typically used in a CHG70 configuration'


The usual objection made to the use of hydrogen especially in liquid form is efficiency, contrasted to batteries.

This objection is perfectly understandable from the historic perspective.

Renewables were a very small percentage of energy production, were a precious and scarce resource, and lower efficiency was often simply more fossil fuel burn by another route.

However, renewables are now, and will be increasingly, both cheap and abundant.

So instead of 'It is less efficient, case closed' the question should change if other benefits, less use of scarce or poisonous materials, or more convenience are possible.

Perhaps more like 'It is less efficient, so what?' ;-)

The energy penalty of liquifying hydrogen is theoretically something like 12% at the lowest, and currently at perhaps 30%.

Where energy is expensive, polluting, and scarce, that would be an overwhelming case against.

None of those are going to be the case.

Just as we don't have the minimum size house, even though they are more energy efficient, there is little or no reason to give up more convenient goods transport purely due to some energy penalty.


Hi Dave,
"The energy penalty of liquifying hydrogen is theoretically something like 12% at the lowest, and currently at perhaps 30%."
That is only a minor part of the whole story. The oil industry is the biggest and most violent proponent of a Hydrogen (H2) economy. At the same time that they are talking about "green H2" they're running NG through the cracker to obtain H2 and ventilate CO2 into the already overloaded Atmosphere.
Really green H2 on the other hand is presently obtained via electrolysis of H2O with an efficiency of 70%. The cost for liquefying H2 at cryogenic temperatures amounts to $50 million to $800 million for capacities ranging from 6,000 kg/day to 200,000 kg/day, respectively.
Additionally, considering all the losses occurring on the complete chain of production and storage and the necessary electric energy , such a venture is a complete economic disaster.
Considering all the innovative improvements in the pipeline for batteries, H2 will never be competitive to same, neither in efficiency nor economically.



We are at one in condemning and being utterly repulsed by the homicidal record of the fossil fuel industry, enabled by venal bought politicians, and a can't be bothered public.

Even so, it is simply invalid to write off technologies simply due to guilt by assosciation.

It is a wicked world, and we have to deal with it the way it is, and try to mitigate the ill effects.

As for cost, if it don't work out for that, it ain't gonna happen.

My view is that it should come in at an acceptable cost, and that it is the only realistic way of getting the power about without digging half of Europe up to lay cables, which is simply not going to happen, and we will keep missing targets for transmission just as we are at the moment until we have a realistic view of that.


Cables can be installed using small boring machines to minimize "digging up".



Yep, and the grid is more reliable if the cables are installed underground.
Unfortunately it is way, way more expensive, which is why there are so many pylons:


'A controversial plan to connect energy produced from onshore wind to the National Grid via a network of pylons running through some of Wales’ most attractive countryside would cost between six and 10 times as much if it was transported underground, according to the company behind the scheme.'



In contrast for hydrogen:


' The report classifies offshore production and pipeline transport of hydrogen as an attractive option especially for wind farms that are more than 100 kilometres from the mainland. Large pipelines could bundle the production of several wind farms and would thus be cheaper than electricity transmission. For hydrogen from wind farms 150 kilometres away, the study calculates that hydrogen production costs could be 4.59 €/kg in 2030, and 3.24 €/kg by 2050. Bringing the electricity onshore via DC cable and producing hydrogen onshore, on the other hand, would be slightly more expensive at 4.60 €/kg in 2030 and 3.50 €/kg. This slight price advantage begins to reverse when the distance falls below about 125 kilometres. Here, electricity transmission then has an advantage.

With regard to the transport infrastructure, a possible European offshore hydrogen backbone, the study comes to a positive conclusion, at least for the North Sea. Here, the potential of offshore wind energy at a distance of more than 100 kilometres from the coast is 89 GW. These quantities could be used to produce 300 TWh of hydrogen. The situation is worse in the Baltic Sea, where fewer production areas are 100 kilometres or more from the coast. Nevertheless, the study sees potential for a hydrogen backbone here as well, in case that Sweden and Finland decide to produce hydrogen on a large scale and export it to Central Europe. Here, a joint transport infrastructure would be more economical than two separate ones.'


Here is an overview of grid connection hassles:


'In the UK, Spain and Italy more than 150GW of wind and solar projects are stuck in grid connection queues in each country, according to figures from BloombergNEF.'

They also have a graph showing overground and underground cabling, with the latter a fraction of the former.

Enthusiasts usually talk in terms of 'streamlining applications' by which they mean driving pylons though regardless of destruction of the countryside, or how much people object.

The underground alternative is far too expensive to be in the debate, save for limited stretches.

In contrast most of the energy for heating etc in the UK is currently transported as natural gas, which could be converted to carry hydrogen, albeit at a lower capacity for the equivalent pipeline to NG, but probably just about right as solar, better insulation etc means that not so much will be needed.

There is much talk about the inefficiency of hydrogen boilers, but a deafening silence on the massive efficiency of home fuel cells, which can utilise the heat from electricity generation for hot water right on the spot where it is needed giving an electrical plus thermal efficiency of 90% plus. There are hundreds of thousands operating right now in Japan.

As for the supposed 'impossibility' of transporting those tricky little hydrogen molecules through pipelines, not only was the grid when I was a boy transporting coal gas, which was around 50% hydrogen before its conversion to NG, but for instance:


' Hydrogen Barrier Efficiency: Tritonex establishes a complete isolation barrier between hydrogen gas and other surfaces, effectively preventing penetration. It has passed the ISO 17081:2014 Hydrogen permeation test standard with 0.000% penetration of the hydrogen.
Ease of Application: The coating can be easily applied without necessitating any modifications to existing infrastructure, streamlining the implementation process.'

And there are other solutions.

It should be noted that for decades we have had hundreds of kilometers of hydrogen pipes.


I should perhaps highlight that conversion of the existing NG grid to hydrogen initially through blending would mean that much of the pipelines would already be there, minimising new work, although of course some would be needed.

And for a trunk route, even though hydrogen transports about a third of the energy of NG, it is still several times an electric cable.



I thought I would also note that although the fossil fuel firms are quite as black as you paint them, the renewables energy folk are grey, not shining white!

That is not to indicate that notions of moral equivalence: 'they are all as bad as each other' are valid or anything other than a cover, as they ain't.

But it does mean that unfortunately we have to distinguish finer shades, and total opposition or support for whatever is not too clever.

That is pretty much the nature of capitalism, for as Adam Smith remarked"

' “People of the same trade seldom meet together, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some diversion to raise prices.”

This unfortunately applies also to folk in renewables.

Many years ago I did a blog on wind turbines in the North sea, where to put it bluntly cost projections were absolute tosh, and cost way more, mostly because they had simply assumed maintenance to cost the same as on land, which at the time was ridiculous.

It is very true that since then costs etc have dropped drastically, and maybe the extra costs were a price worth paying to develop the technology.

Just the same, they were quite deliberately misrepresenting and misleading.

That is relevant to the present discussion as in the case of transmision cables the drive is to try to land the expence on someone else, both through demanding construction at 'Goverment' expence, ie other people and doing construction with utter disregard for ruining the landscape as it is cheaper.

Unsurprising self interest also explains why they disregard repurposing NG pipelines, as that would knock a major hole in funds they hope to be given to build transmission lines.

That is why there is so much talk about inefficient hydrogen boilers, and radar silence on massively efficient home heat pumps, which potentially can counteract much of the comparative inefficiency of of turning electricity in the North sea into hydrogen.

Absolutely none of that should be taken as any sort of attempt at moral equivalency with the massive misdeeds of the fossil fuel industry, but a recognition that we are dealing with imperfect people and institutions under extreme pressure to cover up anything which may be detrimental to promoting their proposed solutions.

So for me at least I have to try to look at things on a case by case basis, to try to reach any sort of rational assessment, rather than adopting position 'from first principles' and absolutely opposing anything which is associated with the fossil fuel industry.


@ Davemart:
What I forgot to mention in my former comment is that the transportation and storage of electricity is far more efficient, economical and quicker than that liquid H2.



I have provided figures from sourced links showing to the contrary, over long distances especially.
As for storage, batteries are fine for up to around 4 hours, but are way, way off being able to handle longer periods, for instance overnight to enable round the clock usage of solar.
I personally support compressed CO2 for overnight, which would enable much higher rates of cheap storage for overnight in most of the world where solar is relatively constant.
That would not do the job fully in northerly locations like the UK however, and for long term storage hydrogen and derivatives such as methanol are the only practical solution.

Once again, you are making blanket entirely sweeping statements when the reality is:
'It depends'

In this case on how far, and for how long.


@ Davemart:
Irregardless if an H2 economy is ever established or not, we will never do without a grid to distribute electric energy. Enabling the available grid to deal with additional tasks / loads is cheaper and more economical than investing in a highly questionable technology which may probably never bear to fruition.



Your remarks would seem to apply equally to the existing NG pipeline grid being repurposed to carry hydrogen rather than relying on still questionable technology for running on all electric.

Way cheaper than forcing through umpteen connectors for electricity from renewables locations.

From the UK perspective let me assure you that the Scots and Welsh are never going to allow their countries to be desecrated to the extent necessary to provide power to England, and this Englishman is in total agreement with them.

The grid build in Europe is simply not happening, nor will it.
See above links.


Strangely, battery only folk seem not to realise just how speculative much of the stuff associated is.

In the 15 years or so I have been following battery technology, it has consistently come in well under the expectations of enthusiasts, from the Leaf batteries dying to the disappointing energy density improvements, which have led for instance to the present build of batteries into the frames of cars, resulting in their scappage from the smallest ding, and the vast weight of BEV cars.

None of this is what was hoped for.

Nor is it surprising, but the notion that the only technology which is improving is battery tech, and 'real soon' we will have lightweight cheap cars, fully competitive with ICE without subsidy when for a decent range the battery alone costs more than the cheapest ICE cars is a matter of faith, not reason.

I think and expect that we will greatly improve batteries, with hopefully the introduction of solid state, but batteries are not the only technology susceptible and likely to improve, and I get a bit tired of faith based fundamentalists.

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