A month ago I talked about how the German H2 Mobility Plan intends to roll out as many as 1,000 hydrogen fueling pumps by 2015. Last week I talked about how Air Products would be doing its part by cutting costs of such presently custom built H2 pumps with a new modular series production system, starting with a station in Hürth, Germany in March 2010.
Today, I would like to talk about how another German company Volkswagen has decided to continue this momentum by launching six of their most recent, last generation fuel cell vehicles in Berlin, Germany for real world testing.
By the end of October 2009, the German automaker has decided to launch two each of the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi HyMotion, Tiguan HyMotion, and two Audi Q5 HFC hydrogen powered vehicles.
This effort is part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) project that includes other partners such as Berlin Transportation Company (BVG), Hydro AG, Linde, Shell Hydrogen, Daimler, GM / Opel, StatoilHydro, Ford, TOTAL, Vattenfall Europe and BMW.
Volkswagen, however is a bit more conservative that some of the other major automakers in that instead of 2015, VW is putting its timeline at rolling about production cars in 2020. This may be a mistake as the Detroit automakers found out in letting Toyota and Honda get a 5-year lead on them in rolling out hybrid vehicles.
Be that as it may, this signals that automakers, industrial gas makers and hydrogen fueling station manufacturers are all serious about creating a hydrogen-based transportation system in Germany in the near future rather than 50 years out as some critics have stated.