UK experts in hydrogen vehicle technology have joined forces with experts from other European countries to launch the Hydrogen Mobility Europe project (H2ME).
The largest project of its kind in Europe, H2ME will support the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen refuelling stations across Europe.
Four existing European projects will collaborate on H2ME: H2MOBILITY Deutschland, Mobilité Hydrogène France, Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership and UK H2 Mobility.
These initiatives originally brought together the key stakeholders in the hydrogen sector – vehicle manufacturers, hydrogen refuelling station providers and government representatives – to study and develop strategies to make hydrogen-fuelled transport a reality in their respective regions.
Under H2ME, the four schemes will place 200 fuel cell cars (from Daimler and Hyundai) and 125 fuel cell range-extended vans (Symbio FCell collaborating with Renault) in customer hands, and establish 29 new hyrdogen refuelling stations across 10 countries by 2019: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
A long-term evaluation campaign will be carried out to demonstrate the readiness of the technology for a mass market, while gathering insights into the customer experience and practical challenges of rolling out the technology at a large scale. This will be used in optimising the technology during its commercial roll-out.
The consortium, led by Element Energy, includes global leaders in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, from fuel cell and vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and data monitoring and evaluation bodies, including the UK’s Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies (Cenex).
Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex, said, “We are very pleased to be a partner to this step change project for H2Mobility across Europe. The information gathered during the project will provide an important aid to the understanding of how different fuel cell vehicles work in the ‘real world’ and what future improvements can be made to ensure fuel cell electric vehicles reach the hands of both fleets and everyday users.”
Ben Madden, director at Element Energy and overall coordinator said: “We are very pleased to be leading this project, which will lead to a significant change in the rate and scale of hydrogen vehicle and refuelling station deployment in Europe. A huge international effort over the past two decades has developed hydrogen vehicle technology to the point where it is technically ready for market introduction. H2ME will allow a widespread demonstration of the readiness of the technology, as well as developing valuable insights about the early customer experience and practical challenges of a widespread roll-out of the technology”.