In Copenhagen, Denmark representatives from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai all signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) regarding the buildup of the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway by 2014 to 2017. The MoU is focused on pulling together public and private stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland to help build out the necessary hydrogen refueling infrastructure in a timely manner.
Automakers have already invested billions of dollars in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. And other parties have helped develop some of the needed infrastructure through the Norway HyNor project and Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) plus the HyFuture project in Sweden. But, more is needed.
Some of the key endeavors of the MoU include the introduction of FCV’s around 2014 to 2017, building more infrastructure and engagement of national car dealerships and energy companies. There is a key component to the MoU that I found to be a bit of a hedge, however: “The Infrastructure Companies will endeavour to introduce the hydrogen infrastructure starting around year 2014 to 2017.”
Being that we are now coming to the close of 2012, the years 2014 to 2017 give too much of a range and too loosey-goosey of a target for those signing the MoU. What we need is to start, with all hands on deck, so to speak, building the needed hydrogen refueling infrastructure now, so that it is ready by 2015, the year all 8 major automakers have stated they will be ready to rollout their hydrogen cars.
In fact, some companies like Hyundai have stated they will rollout before this date, possibly at the end of 2012 or in 2013 (or even if they push the rollout back to 2014 it will still be ahead of what the other carmakers have stated). So, the point is to get going now. Build infrastructure now. Promote the hydrogen highway system and fuel cell vehicles now so that the public will grow with excitement and anticipation over the next 3 years.