In December 2017, there were 91 public hydrogen refueling stations operating in Japan, with another 10 in development, putting the country well on its way to its short-term goal of 160 by 2020. The deployment of stations has been one of Japan’s hydrogen success stories, despite daunting costs and a lack of initial demand.
The good news is that fuel cells for materials handling equipment are no longer confined to a niche market. Entire warehouses in North America are currently being served by hydrogen-powered forklift trucks. This type of fuel cell application is also becoming increasingly popular in Asia and Europe, but their logistics industries will have some catching up to do.
Last November, Thomas Melczer and Achim Loecher were appointed CEOs at newly founded FCP – Fuel Cell Powertrain, a joint venture between Melczer’s PTT Power Train Technology based in the German state of Saxony and Dewei Group Holdings from Beijing. They share the role with Professor Thomas von Unwerth, director of the Advanced Powertrains department at Chemnitz University of Technology, which works in close partnership with FCP.
The current standard in all things transportation is China. It makes policy with which even automakers in Germany need to comply if they want to keep their foot in the door. Air pollution in many large Chinese cities is so high that politicians have been forced to take drastic measures. It is the reason why the government is providing massive amounts of subsidies to promote electric transportation, which has led to half of all electric vehicles worldwide being manufactured in China – and driven there as well.
Not only has the second generation of Hyundai’s fuel cell car been unveiled earlier than expected, the price has already been set as well. The first event featuring the Next Gen Fuel Cell was moved up half a year and took place in mid-August in South Korea’s capital Seoul. The car scheduled to hit the market in early 2018 will cost EUR 54,000 (USD 62,712) outside South Korea
A look at this year’s calendar will reveal the absence of three trade shows previously held in Munich, Germany: eCarTec, Materialica and sMove. They’re not gone, but have been integrated into the eMove360° Europe, which takes place from Oct. 17 through 19. Robert Metzger, CEO of Munich Expo, said that the change in program had already paid off. This April, the number of exhibitors had already surpassed last year’s figure
Japan remains fully committed to integrating hydrogen into its national energy mix, and is looking to Europe and to a lesser extent the U.S. for markets and research support. Developers f residential fuel cell systems have all found European partners to bid for FCH-JU funding. And Japan’s Toyota has quietly led an international effort to engage corporations
The 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference will take place next year in Brazil – with the help of a German business. Co-organizer of the WHEC 2018 held under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy is reported to be Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse. The hosts in Rio de Janeiro from June 17 through 22 will be the Laboratório de Hidrogênio, or Lab H2 for short, and the Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia, or COPPE UFRJ.
When the Mirai became available in late 2014, Toyota was convinced that the fuel cell would be the future of the automotive industry. Last year, however, the carmaker adjusted its strategy and explained that – previous statements notwithstanding – it would also start offering battery-driven vehicles. Did the then-number one carmaker get cold feet after previously announcing
Although Daimler, Ford and Nissan have been working together since 2013 to develop a fuel cell system, Symbio FCell has had its own collaboration project with Nissan to design an H2 range extender. At the FC Expo in Tokyo this March (see Japan Leads the Way), Symbio – by its own account, the “European leader of hydrogen mobility solutions”