Eight major companies including Linde, Daimler, EnBW, NOW, OMV, Shell, Total and Vattenfall have signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin for the proliferation of hydrogen fueling stations in Germany as part of the H2 Mobility program with the goal of serial production of hydrogen cars by 2015.
Right now, Germany has 30 hydrogen fueling stations operating throughout the country, the most in the European Union Hydrogen Highway system. Of those 30 locations, 7 hydrogen fueling stations have been integrated into current operational gas stations.
According to Minister for Transportation, Building and Urban Affairs, Wolfgang Tiefensee, “Today, after more than 100 years of combustion engines and the dominance of oil, we are facing a new technological era in the transport sector. Germany, with its excellent ideas from all over the country, is to become the market leader for modern drive technologies.
“This will secure and create new employment in the markets of the future. Our aim is to continue consistent and systematic promotion of electromobility based on batteries and fuel cells. Today we can see that Germany is setting the pace when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cell technology. We are aiming at establishing the nation-wide supply with hydrogen in Germany at around 2015 in order to support the serial-production of fuel cell vehicles.”
The drive to setup a network of public hydrogen fueling stations throughout the nation is part of the German economic stimulus package (Konjunkturpaket II). The idea is to both create jobs and ensure the serial production of hydrogen cars within the next 5 years.
Besides Daimler, all the major car companies are committed to pushing forward with hydrogen technology including: General Motors, Opel GmbH, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Renault, Ford and Hyundai-Kia.
Critics in the U. S. have stated that establishing a network of hydrogen fueling stations would be too costly. This is why smaller countries such as Germany and Japan and others are pushing ahead and expect to outpace the U. S. in hydrogen car and infrastructure development for years to come.