Companies have invested heavily in hydrogen filling stations for fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in Germany.
Hydrogen fuel-cell technology Image: Toyota
Daimler, OMV, Shell and Total are amongst the six companies who have invested €350m ($500 million) in a network of hydrogen vehicle filling stations for construction over the next 10 years.
With around 15 such stations curently operating in Germany, the consortium is aiming for a network of around 400 by 2023, in the hope of capitalising on the increasing demand for fuel-cell electric vehicles. The target is to have a hydrogen station for every 90 km of German motorway.
The strategy is good news for fast-developing FCEVs, which can refuel in minutes and travel similar distances to those of a conventional combustion engine car. Fuel-cell cars chemically convert hydrogen to electricity to power the vehicle, emitting only water vapour as a waste product in the process.
The FCEV's green competitor, the battery-powered electric car, often has a range limited to about 100 km and needs hours to recharge.