September 13 marks an extraordinary milestone in the history of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). Four international car manufacturers will join forces to demonstrate hydrogen-powered FCEVs are not just technologies of the future but of today. A total of 7 FCEVs from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will bring their individual hydrogen fuel cell systems to the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012.
The tour will last one month, with special event stopovers in nine European cities, where interested public will be given the opportunity to experience the benefits of this alternative drivetrain. Several cities on the tour route will be the first opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive FCEVs where the only emission is water.
The event aims to reach out to politicians, industry leaders, press and public to help improve awareness around FCEVs, delivering a clear message. While the technology exists for Hydrogen Vehicles today, there is a real need to improve the European hydrogen distribution infrastructure. This tour also marks the most widespread effort to promote FCEVs in Europe this year.
Starting in Hamburg on September 13th, the FCEVs from participating manufacturers will afterwards move through Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen, supported by local organisations in each city. H2 Logic Denmark will provide mobile refuelling stations in some stopover cities.
The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders. The project focusses on gaining customer acceptance for hydrogen-powered FCEVs and preparing the market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The experience from operating 19 FCEVs in Oslo and Copenhagen and the corresponding hydrogen refuelling infrastructure shows that the technology is reliable now even in harsh Scandinavian winters.
Michel Gardel, Vice-President Communications, External and Environment Affairs of Toyota Motor Europe today commented: “Toyota has been active in fuel cell technology for the last 20 years and we are working to commercialise our next-generation fuel cell car by 2015. The European Hydrogen Road Tour is a great opportunity for our company and partners to demonstrate the readiness of the technology to European consumers.”
Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, Director drive development fuel cell system, Daimler AG points out the importance of this technology: “On our way to zero-emission mobility fuel cell electric vehicles – with their great range while at the same time short refueling times – will play a central role for the future. However, the success of this technology depends crucially on certain conditions being in place, such as the availability of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.”
Thomas Brachmann, Automobile Engineering & Research, Honda R&D Europe (Deutschland) GmbH remarked that “Honda believe fuel cell electric vehicles are the ultimate mobility solution, providing a practical, clean and near silent answer to transport requirements. The European Hydrogen Road Tour offers a great opportunity to give the public, the media and government officials a chance to experience this zero emission technology for themselves.”
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe describes their reasons for joining the tour: “Hyundai is proud to be playing an integral role in the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012. The Hyundai ix35 FCEV clearly demonstrates not only our commitment to producing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, but also the benefits of FCEV. As the availability and performance of this technology improves, we can look forward to FCEVs providing sustainable mobility to future generations while dramatically reducing climate change.”