Shell to install nationwide network of hydrogen vehicle fuelling pumps in Germany
Oct 13, 2015
Shell will install a nationwide network of hydrogen fuelling pumps at retail sites in Germany from 2016, in an effort to accelerate the growth in Europe of this low-carbon alternative transport fuel.
Shell, which opened its first hydrogen fuel station in Germany in 2011, has today signed a declaration of intent with its H2 Mobility Germany joint venture partners and Germany’s federal transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt. It will lead to hydrogen fuelling pumps being available at around 400 locations across the country by 2023.
“Hydrogen-fuelled electric vehicles could play a key part in a low-carbon, low-emission, future,” said Oliver Bishop, General Manager of Hydrogen at Shell. “It will take technical innovation and bold policies to transform the global energy system into a progressively cleaner, less carbon-intensive one. H2 Mobility Germany shows what we can achieve through close collaboration between governments and business. The next step is for consumers to embrace this opportunity and consider buying hydrogen vehicles as they become available.”
Shell currently operates three hydrogen stations in Germany, including one in Berlin and two in Hamburg. Shell anticipates the first four new fuelling points will be installed at existing retail sites in Frankfurt, Wuppertal, Geisingen and Wendingen.
The pumps at these sites will refuel hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in a few minutes. The cost of charging a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is comparable to filling a car with gasoline or diesel and they can travel similar distances to vehicles with conventional combustion engines.
Shell has another two demonstration hydrogen filling stations in Los Angeles that allow the company to evaluate a range of technologies, drive down costs and better understand consumer behaviour.
The company is assessing the potential for more stations in the USA, UK, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
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- Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) convert hydrogen into electricity and produce only heat and water when driven. They offer an alternative to the conventional car, a driving experience similar to electric cars, and zero local emissions. They also offer the potential for zero CO2 emissions, depending on the electricity source.
- When hydrogen is produced from natural gas – the cleanest burning fossil fuel – it can greatly reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions compared to gasoline or diesel, due to the higher efficiency of the fuel cell drive train.
- The CO2 footprint of hydrogen produced from electricity (via electrolysis with water) depends on the CO2 intensity of the power source. Using electricity to make hydrogen though electrolysis could help absorb surplus wind and solar energy, at times of low power demand.
- Hydrogen mobility is a ‘chicken and egg’ situation. FCEVs will only be bought by customers if there is a refuelling infrastructure. Establishing and maintaining investment in fuelling infrastructure is only commercially attractive and sustainable if there are enough FCEV customers.
- If barriers can be overcome, FCEVs, along with electrification via plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles, will make a material contribution to reducing emissions from road transport in the coming decades.
Shell and hydrogen
- Shell and its H2 Mobility Germany partners, Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV and Total agreed in principle to set up a nationwide hydrogen fuelling station network in September 2013. The joint venture, headquartered in Berlin, was officially established in January 2015.
- The current German network consists of 19 stations. Three, including the world’s largest combined passenger vehicle and bus H2 filling station at Sachsendamm, Berlin, which opened in June 2011, are Shell’s. This 350- and 700-bar station provides hydrogen from liquid storage via cryogenic liquid compression and has a very high fuelling capacity. Shell opened its most recent station, which demonstrates electrolysis of hydrogen, in Hamburg in March 2015.
- The new hydrogen infrastructure Shell will deliver will be added to existing fuel retail sites.
Read the Inside Energy story ‘Hydrogen cars hit the highways’
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