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New Hydrogen Fleet for South Tyrol

By February 22, 2020 5   min read  (964 words)

February 22, 2020 |

Bolzano — Ten new Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell electric cars were recently handed over to long-term renters – including the state government.

The state of South Tyrol is taking another step towards promoting sustainable, emission-free forms of mobility. Governor Arno Compatscher handed over ten new hydrogen-electric cars with an emission-free as well as noiseless drive in Bolzano with Mobility Councilor Daniel Alfreider and Environment Councilor Giuliano Vettorato.

The ten new Hyundai Nexo’s are the first fleet of this vehicle type in all of Italy and are now being long-term rentals to project partners – including the South Tyrolean government, which wants to use concrete steps to advance its sustainability strategy in the mobility sector. “It is up to us to prove that emission-free mobility is possible in South Tyrol,” said Governor Arno Kompscher at the key handover.

The other long-term tenants are public institutions (Eurac Research, Alperia, A22, IDM, agricultural and forestry test center in Laimburg), but also private companies (Microtec, Camping Moosbauer). The hydrogen fleet was purchased by the in-house company of the country SASA as part of the EU project LIFEalps . The EU project is coordinated by SASA together with the Institute for Innovative Technologies (IIT).

” A hydrogen plan for the entire European region”

The ten new models complement the first ten electrically powered hydrogen cars in South Tyrol, which were already purchased in 2013. Together they form the largest hydrogen fleet in Italy and in the European region of Tyrol. “With its various pilot projects,” said Governor Kompscher, “South Tyrol has been building up know-how for years and is now sharing it both with our neighboring countries and with the rest of Italy and Europe. We are particularly pleased that the states of Tyrol and Trentino – encouraged by the South Tyrolean successes – are now very interested in the rapid development of this technology. ”

South Tyrol is not only working on its own hydrogen plan , but also on a strategy for the entire European region. “Only together can we solve the problem of heavy and transit traffic along the Brenner axis, which affects us all,” said compatter and named the goal to make South Tyrol a model region in terms of sustainability, a so-called green region : “This is how we pursue the goals of climate protection such as the health and quality of life of the citizens in one and can increasingly make South Tyrol attractive for sustainably oriented guests. ”

2030 hydrogen master plan

Mobility State Councilor Daniel Alfreider explains: “Our strategy in the hydrogen area provides that up to 15 percent of truck journeys will be emission-free by 2030.”

There are also further investments in a new bus fleet and in a nationwide infrastructure. “Thanks to its hydropower, South Tyrol has enormous potential to use this clean energy for mobility and transit solutions and thus become more independent of gasoline and diesel,” said State Councilor Alfreider.

Giuliano Vettorato, Member of the Environment and Energy Council, said: “If the fuel is also produced locally and with renewable energies, this completes the picture of a 100 percent emission-free and sustainable vehicle. The great advantage of this type of electromobility is that it can start up hydrogen production when there is enough renewable energy available on the grid and there is little electricity consumption. This avoids production during the evening and morning peak times. ”Vettorato is convinced that“ we will create a local economic cycle with corresponding added value in South Tyrol and that the system will move into Italy and other countries. ”

Low emissions over the Brenner Pass: A22 transport projects

The A22 Brenner motorway also relies on alternative, more sustainable drives, especially in view of the increasing number of users, explains General Director Carlo Costa: “We have to rely on more sustainable solutions, especially for heavy traffic. We opted for hydrogen very early on; however, many today recognize the potential of this zero-emission technology. We are determined to actively participate in infrastructure expansion to boost the hydrogen vehicle market. Without hydrogen filling stations, fuel cell vehicles have no future. ”

At the launch of the Hyundai Nexo fleet in South Tyrol, the managing director of Hyundai Italy, Andrea Crespi, explained the advantages of the cars and the fuel cell technology: “This model is refueled in just five minutes and therefore has a range of up to 665 km.” In addition, driving with hydrogen is also inexpensive: a full tank costs around 60 euros; a kilogram of hydrogen costs 11.29 euros plus VAT. ” Being able to hand over the first fleet of ten Hyundai Nexo vehicles in Italy here in Bolzano is a fundamental step on the way to zero-emission mobility,” said Crespi.

The EU project LIFEalps

South Tyrol already started on this path in 2013: At that time, ten electrically powered fuel cell cars and five fuel cell buses were put into operation via the SASA , together with the hydrogen production and filling station in Bolzano Süd managed by the IIT. Since then, the buses have covered over 1.4 million kilometers and the cars – used by many institutions and companies – have already driven over 920,000 km.

It is one of many pilot projects with which the State of South Tyrol is implementing the 2030 mobility strategy. The results have now encouraged the country to continue on this path. The LIFEalps ( Zero Emission Services for a Decarbonised Alpine Economy ) project serves this goal, not only to create infrastructures for all forms of electromobility but also to provide pilot fleets for various emission-free vehicles. Not only was the fleet handed over today financed via LIFEalps, but also 33 quick-charging stations and five other hydrogen filling stations for cars and buses.

How the strategic importance of the project is perceived at the European level, also shows the presence of Herald Ruijters: He is in the European s Commission director for sustainable and innovative mobility General for Transport (DG Move).

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