Fuel cell buses emit no air pollutants or environmentally harmful gases. They can run an entire day without the need for refueling and offer operators the same flexibility as diesel vehicles. Fifty-four fuel cell buses and nine hydrogen filling stations were tested in day-to-day operation during the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities project from 2010 to 2016. The results were presented in London at the Zero Emission Bus Conference on Nov. 30, 2016.
An increasing number of German cities follow the example of Hamburg and stipulate the use of only zero-emission buses in public transportation starting in 2020 – Berlin’s senate among them. The transit authorities of the German state were instructed to purchase only buses without combustion engines from 2020 to ensure that the state government can meet federal and EU climate protection goals throughout the next decade.
The transportation sector is moving forward again: After a years-long debate and much reporting about fuel cell use in passenger cars, a breath of new life has been given to maritime, railroad and aviation applications. Especially many of the stakeholders in the maritime industry see great market potential for fuel cell units, as environmental regulations are gradually putting pressure on the oft-used diesel technology.
Although numerous critics had hardly thought it possible anymore because of years-long delays, fuel cell heating systems have entered the market. Several manufacturers of heating appliances have added power and heat units running on natural gas to their portfolio. One of them is Thermondo, a young heating installation company operating across Germany, which has been offering condensing boilers since last year.
Reusing carbon dioxide over and again in a closed process would be an optimal solution for protecting our environment. A demonstration system doing exactly what is needed has been running in one of Exytron’s showrooms at Rostock Port since September 2015. About 50 meters or 164 feet away from the wharf at the Unterwarnow, the river flowing through the old part of this Hanseatic city, you will find the headquarters of a young business that won the Start-up GreenTec Award at the end of April last year.
This year will be the twenty-third in the history of the joint booth Hydrogen + Fuel Cells + Batteries at the Hannover trade show (April 24 through 28). And since the industry meeting has proved to be a good networking platform, Tobias Renz FAIR and Deutsche Messe will also organize a similar booth at the American trade show this year. The Hydrogen + Fuel Cells North America will take place from Sept. 10 to 13 during the Solar Power International in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From March 1 through 3, 2017, the FC Expo will again be held in Tokyo, Japan. This year will be the ninth time that Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse organizes a German pavilion at the International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo. Bearing the slogan “Hydrogen and fuel cells made in Germany,” the pavilion will offer German businesses and institutions a joint booth of around 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) for networking opportunities in the Asian country. According to Silke Frank, official representative of Peter Sauber, the pavilion has been “the biggest of this trade show for years.”
Even at the IAA Commercial Vehicles from Sept. 22 to 29, 2016, electric transportation was talked about – albeit not very much. For example, Volkswagen presented his e-Crafter concept study, which even EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger and federal transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt paid a visit during their trade show tour. Delivery of the first units of this electric transporter with a top speed of 80 kph (50 mph) is expected for this year.
The Paris Motor Show seemingly went all-out electric: There hadn’t been so many electric vehicles at one single trade show for a long time. From Oct. 1 to 16, 2016, Opel showcased its Ampera-e (500-kilometer or close to 311-mile range; priced at EUR 39,000), the “currently hottest rod from Germany,” as car blogger Fabian Messner put it. Renault showed the Zoe with a large 41 kWh battery. And VW announced a battery storage unit for its e-Golf with an increased capacity.
Last year, the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association celebrated its 20th anniversary. The occasion prompted the editor of H2-international, Sven Geitmann, to use the editorial of last year’s November issue to paint a picture of the association’s progress over the past two decades. To complete this picture, the chair of the DWV, Werner Diwald, recently sat down with H2-international for a short interview about the current state of affairs and the association’s plans for the future.