Daimler, alongside five oil and industrial gas companies are set to invest around 350 million euros ($500 million) on a new network of hydrogen filling stations for fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in Germany, set to be built over the span of a decade.
Fuel-cell cars, according to many analysts and experts, could be – even more so than battery-powered electrics, as the best long-term solution to decreasing carbon emissions from road transportation, but one of its major problems – apart from a high price tag for the technology itself – is the lack of a refueling infrastructure.
“By 2023 there should be more hydrogen filling stations than conventional ones on the autobahn today,” Daimler research and development chief Thomas Weber said in a statement.
Petrochemical groups OMV, Shell and Total as well as industrial gases producers Air Liquide and Linde form the initiative . The “H2 Mobility” group is aiming for around 400 hydrogen refueling stations in Germany by 2023, with the initial batch of 100 units set to work within the next four years. Germany only has around 15 hydrogen stations currently.
Daimler is among the automakers that aim for leadership in the FCEV segment and announced this year that together with Ford and Nissan, they would have new FCEV models within five years that could cost no more than a diesel-hybrid now. Daimler has already on the road around 200 Mercedes B-Class F-Cells .