Air Liquide and Hyundai have jointly taken an important step in expanding the nationwide hydrogen infrastructure under the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), and today inaugurated another hydrogen station in Offenbach a.M.
Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is funding the construction and operation of the Air Liquide station at Kaiserleipromenade 5 in Offenbach, on the Hyundai Motor Europe company grounds, with more than EUR 1 million.
By 2018/19, approximately 100 hydrogen stations are to be built in Germany, to support the market launch of fuel cell vehicles by companies including Hyundai. The focus is initially on ensuring supply to the metropolitan regions including the connecting motorways. With the sites in Offenbach and Frankfurt-Höchst, the Rhine-Main region now has two hydrogen refuelling stations. Air Liquide plans to build further filling stations in North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The new Air Liquide petrol station in Offenbach has a daily capacity of 200 kg of hydrogen, enough for filling more than 30 vehicles every day. The refuelling process takes just three to five minutes.
Speaking at the opening, Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said: “Above all, electric mobility using fuel cells means clean mobility, quick refuelling and long ranges. To get the vehicles on the road, we need a large hydrogen station network in Germany – in the big cities, along the motorways, and also in the countryside. Setting up H2 Mobility stations at conventional service stations is an important step towards hydrogen mobility. The ‘50 Refuelling Stations Program’ will establish a basic nationwide network, which we are supporting with 28 million euros.”
CEP Chairman Thomas Bystry, expressed his happiness at the continuation of the joint journey of hydrogen producers, service station operators and vehicle manufacturers under the umbrella of the CEP: "Making emissions-free mobility with hydrogen a reality is a challenge, and every new commissioning constitutes a reward for the personal dedication by the partners, made possible by the support of decision-makers at local, state and federal level. I hope we will see many more openings of this kind.”
Pierre-Etienne Franc, Vice President of Air Liquide Advanced Business and Technologies, said: "This second station, which we are opening up in CEP in Germany, reflects Air Liquide's great commitment to using hydrogen as a fuel for sustainable mobility. We are proud to be involved in the construction of Europe's largest hydrogen network and to take an active role in creating a mass market for fuel-cell vehicles in Germany.”
Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, added: "Today’s opening makes Hyundai the first manufacturer in Germany to offer a public hydrogen filling station on its premises. The new service station, operated by our partner Air Liquide, underscores our commitment to the democratisation of emissions-free mobility. With the ix35 Fuel Cell, Hyundai is the first manufacturer to make a hydrogen-powered vehicle, and thus an emerging technology, accessible to a broader public. We are therefore particularly pleased to add this service station to the CEP network."
More than 20 hydrogen stations have been completed in Germany to date, sponsored by the federal government through its National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) as research and development projects. The existing filling stations already ensure the supply of the metropolitan regions of Berlin, Hamburg, Rhine / Ruhr, Stuttgart and Munich; the service stations currently in operation reach 6 million people.
The construction of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany goes hand in hand with the planned market ramp-up of fuel cell vehicles by various manufacturers. The Offenbach site is part of a plan, launched in 2012, to expand the German H2 network to a total of 50 locations.
The development of these hydrogen stations is promoted by the federal government through the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.