The 50-station target, originally set for 2015, has not yet been achieved, but it will be soon, according to the H2 Mobility Germany consortium. On behalf of its founding partners, it is setting up and putting into operation new hydrogen stations across the country.
One new station was opened by the parliamentary state secretary for transportation, Norbert Barthle, in mid-February in Wendlingen. Shell invested a total of EUR 1.4 million in the installation southeast of Stuttgart, along the A8 freeway. Half of the money came from public funds. Thomas Bystry, chairman of the Clean Energy Partnership, said during the opening ceremony that starting in the 2020s, hydrogen would play an increasingly stronger role in markets such as Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK and the United States.
Germany’s number 44 went into operation March 5 in Ingolstadt, also in the presence of Barthle. This one is a Total station on Manchinger Strasse, not far from the Ingolstadt Süd exit on the A9 freeway. In late 2017, another system – supported with EUR 900,000 – came online at a Total truck stop at the A5, near Hirschberg an der Bergstraße.
Soon, drivers of fuel cell vehicles will have even more opportunities for refueling near the A5 freeway. Bad Homburg, in the state of Hesse, was H2 Mobility’s choice during its second request for applications, for which 13 regions had submitted papers. The effort put in by Gaertner & Roesebeck Unternehmensberatung, a German consultancy, had tipped the scales in favor of the location. The consultancy had campaigned vigorously for the use of hydrogen fuel and convinced many stakeholders of the technology’s benefits for transportation. Additionally, Bad Homburg had announced that it intended to make hydrogen vehicles part of its carshare portfolio. Financial support for the endeavor is also coming from the EU project Hydrogen Mobility Europe, or H2ME (more on the project will follow in the July 2018 issue).
Lorenz Jung, head of project management at H2 Mobility, said that despite the rather tight application deadline, the regions had succeeded in mobilizing their citizens and companies. “The results have far surpassed our expectations. There’s no getting away from it, there’s definitely a market for hydrogen out there now,” he said. Not only was he impressed with the level of commitment, but also with the quality of the applications. “Systems integration, hydrogen production based on renewable sources and transportation concepts are all clear indicators of the important role hydrogen is set to play in our energy system’s transformation.”