Hydrogen propulsion is gaining ground (albeit slowly)

February 20, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Hydrogen propulsion is gaining ground (albeit slowly)
In the development of locally emission-free, i.e. electric drives, the battery electric approach is way ahead. However, the fuel cell technology is by no means outdated. This can be seen from the increasing number of hydrogen filling stations: Here, very strong percentage growth can be observed, as determined by technology consultig company Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH.

In 2019, 83 hydrogen filling stations have been put into operation worldwide. Newly opened were 36 filling stations in Europe, 38 in Asia, 8 in North America and one in the Arabian region. Germany extended its network by 22 filling stations, Korea by 18 and Japan by 11, which is the result of the 12th annual evaluation of H2stations.org, a website of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST).

At the end of 2019, 432 hydrogen filling stations were in operation worldwide, 330 of them publicly accessible stations where you can fill up like at conventional filling stations. Thus, the number of public H2 filling stations has more than quadrupled in the last five years. There are already plans for 226 further filling stations at specific locations.

At the end of the year, Europe had 177 filling stations, 87 of which were in Germany. France is second in Europe with 26 filling stations, and with 34 planned filling stations, dynamic expansion can be expected to continue.

However, the focus there is on the refuelling of buses and delivery vehicle fleets and less on publicly accessible car filling stations as in the rest of Europe. A significant increase in refuelling facilities is also expected in the Netherlands, where 21 new filling stations are currently being planned. Switzerland already has 4 filling stations in operation and 6 more firmly planned.

In Asia, 178 filling stations are in operation, of which 114 are in Japan and 33 in Korea. The 27 Chinese filling stations identified are used almost exclusively to refuel buses or trucks of corresponding fleet operators. The most ambitious short-term growth is in Korea, where information is available on 40 planned filling stations for cars and buses.

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