Car manufacturer Daimler and technology company The Linde Group are pressing ahead with the development of infrastructure for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, the companies said on Wednesday.
Over the coming three years, the two companies plan to construct an additional 20 hydrogen filling stations in Germany, thereby ensuring a supply of hydrogen produced purely from renewable resources for the steadily increasing number of fuel-cell vehicles.
The initiative links in with the existing H2 Mobility and Clean Energy Partnership infrastructure projects, which are being subsidised by the National Innovation Programme for hydrogen and fuel-cell technology (NIP).
This places Germany at the international forefront of hydrogen infrastructure development, the companies said.
The initiative that Linde and Daimler are embarking upon involves investment running into the tens of millions, and is set to more than triple the number of public hydrogen refuelling points in Germany, they said.
The new stations will be located in the current hydrogen centers of Stuttgart, Berlin and Hamburg, as well as along two new continuous north-south and east-west axes. The aim is to use existing sites belonging to different petroleum companies that are strategically located in the traffic network.
This will make it possible to drive anywhere in Germany with a fuel-cell-powered vehicle for the first time. One of the focal points for the infrastructure's extension will be in Baden-Württemberg, where, 125 years after the invention of the motor car, the stage is being set for its reinvention.
"Together with the fuel cell, hydrogen is set to be of fundamental importance to the expansion of electromobility," said Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde.
"We are delighted to be able to play such an instrumental role in shaping this development together with Daimler, he continued. We see ourselves as providing an impetus for existing initiatives, such as H2 Mobility and the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), and wish to support the commercialisation of hydrogen vehicles as best we can.
By systematically developing hydrogen technology, Germany can assume a pioneering role in this field and establish itself as the industry leader as we move towards emission-free mobility."
Construction and commissioning of the new filling stations will start in 2012. Other partners from the petroleum, power supply or automotive industries, for instance, are welcome to become involved in the joint initiative, the companies noted.