Currently, there are two types of technologies battling for supremacy in the new electric car segment – battery powered and fuel cell electrics. Both have many hurdles ahead, but for the latter, the road seems just a little bit smoother now.
That’s because German industrial gas producer Linde has just opened what the company mulls as the world’s first production line for hydrogen refuel stations. Many prospective buyers, because of the scarcity of the refueling points, have so far avoided both battery and fuel cell electric cars. The latter technology was also held back for years because of the high cost of development and production – proposed fuel cell cars should cost at least $70,000, while a single refueling station can go for more than $1 million.
“Today is the start of another big step for our future,” said Katsuhiko Hirose, head of Toyota’s hydrogen program, during the Linde event in Vienna. “There’s still a long and winding road ahead of us.”
Linde set up the production facility because of demand coming from Japan and the prospective launches from automakers like Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai – while many others are set to follow. The factory has an annual capacity of 50 hydrogen stations, and the Germans already have an order for 28 units from Japanese gas trading company Iwatani.