Linde and Daimler press ahead with development of infrastructure for fuel-cell vehicles
- Joint project agreed to build 20 hydrogen (H2) filling stations in Germany
- Significant contribution for Germany as the lead market for electromobility
- Major impetus for existing H2 infrastructure initiatives
Stuttgart/Munich - Car manufacturer Daimler and technology company The Linde Group are pressing ahead with the development of an infrastructure for hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles. 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 on the roads. 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 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. The new stations will be located in the current hydrogen centres 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,” explained Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. “We are delighted to be able to play such an instrumental role in shaping this development together with Daimler. 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.”
“The fuel cell represents a decisive step forward for electromobility, as it enables zero-emission driving with high ranges and short refuelling times – and not just for passenger cars, but for commercial vehicles, too. In partnership with Linde, we are now taking the next step by getting things going on the infrastructure side. 20 new hydrogen filling stations will give the market a major stimulus,” remarked Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the finish of the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive in Stuttgart. Having started off from Stuttgart at the end of January, the first circumnavigation of the globe in fuel-cell vehicles took in four continents and 14 countries. Each of the vehicles involved covered over 30,000 kilometres. Linde accompanied the F-CELL World Drive as the exclusive hydrogen partner, providing the zero-emission vehicles with a mobile supply of hydrogen for the duration of the tour.
Construction and commissioning of the new filling stations will already start in 2012. Other partners from the petroleum, power supply or automotive industries, for instance, are welcome to become involved in the joint initiative that has been set up by Daimler and Linde.
Background: the infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations in Germany
The successful introduction of fuel-cell vehicles depends on the development of a public hydrogen supply infrastructure. The first centres have already sprung up in large metropolitan areas, such as Berlin and Hamburg. There are nearly 30 hydrogen refuelling points in Germany at the current time, seven of which are integrated into a public filling station facility. This means that Germany clearly leads the way in Europe. To begin with, just five to ten filling stations are sufficient for conveniently servicing the requirements of a large city. Joining up these urban centres – for example Berlin with Hamburg, Stuttgart with Munich – by means of corridors along the arterial roads between them is a major step forward towards the establishment of a nationwide public H2 infrastructure.
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 48,700 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 12.868 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com
About Daimler: The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the motor car in the year 1886. 125 years later, in the anniversary year of 2011, Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services, including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility today. The company applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. When it comes to the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only automotive manufacturer investing in all three technologies of hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel cells, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world, and has production facilities on five continents. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, the world’s most valuable automotive brand, Daimler’s brand portfolio includes smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges (stock exchange symbol DAI). In 2010, the Daimler Group sold 1.9 million vehicles and employed a workforce of over 260,000 people; revenue totalled €97.8 billion and EBIT amounted to €7.3 billion.
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