The kickstart for Enginius could hardly have turned out better. On May 16th, 2022, Faun Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. KG introduced its new brand to the public in Bremen, and only two weeks later, the vehicle manufacturer from Niedersachsen was presented the first ever H2Eco Award during Hannover Messe. At the same time as the industrial fair, the subsidiary of the Faun Group also made a splash at IFAT 2022, the world-leading trade fair for environmental technologies, in Munich from May 30th to June 3rd.
The idea of carmakers running their own car sharing enterprises has been around for years. But an insurance company leasing hydrogen-powered trucks is something completely new. Indeed at first glance the plans put forward by hylane, a subsidiary of German insurer DEVK (historically an insurance fund for railroad employees), seem rather unconventional. During the course of the company’s press conference on April 11, 2022, however, the partners involved made it clear that unusual times occasionally call for unusual measures. The same applies to the H2 Delivery brand which began marketing its rental concept in December 2021.
On May 12th, 2022, German transport minister Dr. Volker Wissing set off the next round of the HyLand program. Representatives from each of the 15 HyStarter and HyExpert Regions came to Berlin to hear the funding decisions from the ministry for transport and digital infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr, BMDV). In addition, Wissing announced another call for HyPerformer Regions – also for this year.
The progression of PtX technologies within the last two decades, starting in Germany, seems to have developed into a success story, with currently more than 900 projects worldwide. At this time, a transition from small laboratory-scale pilot projects to large-scale commercial use can be observed. The PtX activities up to now have been followed and analyzed by LBST, who will continue to in the future.
A startup from Erlangen, Germany is advancing the development of a liquid organic hydrogen carrier. With various corporations like Bilfinger und Schaeffler, the technology company is trying to make the innovative solution for green hydrogen more economical worldwide. At the end of 2023, the largest storage and release plant thus far is to appear in Chempark Dormagen, near Cologne. It should be able to produce and store 1,800 tonnes of hydrogen annually. Demand is widely abundant.
Membership of the German hydrogen and fuel cell association DWV is going up and up. Not only that, the difficult energy policy situation at the moment means the association is gaining in importance too. For several years the DWV has been evolving into a central industry association alongside the German gas and water industries association DVGW. In order to further improve cooperation between the two organizations, in spring 2021 the DWV executive committee selected Thorsten Kasten, at the DVGW’s suggestion, to become its second chairman (see H2-international, August 2021). H2-international spoke to Kasten during the Hannover Messe about his first year at the DWV and to Tilman Wilhelm, who from April this year has headed up the regulatory policy, press and public relations work of the DVGW, about the challenges in the energy space.
Increasing demand for hydrogen technologies is prompting the need for automakers and equipment suppliers to align and adapt production capacities to meet new requirements. To enable this to happen, it is essential to establish expertise and develop processes and technologies, particularly when it comes to key technology areas like hydrogen production and consumption systems, since gaining a global competitive advantage in the longer term is dependent on the ability to manufacture these systems economically . That’s why the H2SkaProMo joint project is seeking to develop assembly systems for manual, semiautomatic and fully automated production of fuel cell stacks that are readily scalable in terms of their level of automation.
The importance of hydrogen and fuel cells, both at the national and international level, is strongly growing. Not only through the multitude of national roadmaps toward energy change but also by more and more companies entering the market with promising products is the maturity of the technology becoming increasingly clear. In order to offer safe products to as many regional markets as possible, it is vital to establish globally recognized norms, guidelines and harmonized standards.
The steel construction company Reuther STC GmbH from Fürstenwalde, Brandenburg is bankrupt once more. On June 1, 2022, insolvency proceedings were opened – for the second time. As the state broadcaster, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), reported, Reuther had already been “as good as bankrupt before the pandemic,” since, in 2019, a 7-million-euro order from Senvion for over 15 towers for wind turbines had been dissolved because of its insolvency. “We then went to court and filed for bankruptcy,” recalled sales manager Christian Klingelstein. With support from the region, the company was able to save itself by using its know-how additionally for the construction of hydrogen containers from now on. So 165 of the previously imperiled jobs were saved.
Former Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller has changed companies and moved to Nikola. At the end of February 2022, the US commercial vehicle manufacturer announced that Lohscheller had been appointed president of the company. So after just four months as managing director of Vietnamese automaker VinFast, he resigned from this office. Prior to that, he had spent four years running Opel Automobile GmbH.