The automotive industry has announced that vehicles powered by fuel cell technology will be on the market by 2015. Air Liquide is preparing for the emergence of hydrogen in transport by supporting the rollout of the necessary filling station infrastructure globally. These developments have recently received strong government backing in Europe and Asia.
Today, Air Liquide officially opened its first public hydrogen filling station for passenger cars in Germany, in the city of Düsseldorf. This state of the art station will be followed by 10 new hydrogen filling stations that will be designed, built and rolled out in the next three years under the auspices of the German government’s major demonstration project. By 2015 Germany will have a supply network of at least 50 public filling stations.
Those new steps are in line with the Group’s announcement in October 2011 that it would invest in 20 new stations in Europe.
Driven by the the same dynamic, two other stations have been installed recently by Air Liquide in Oslo, Norway, and in the Swiss city of Brugg.
In Japan, the government sees hydrogen as a promising major energy source for cars and expects to install about 100 hydrogen distribution stations for fuel cell vehicles by 2015. Air Liquide Japan intends to build a significant number of them and, in support of this goal, has recently set up a specialized team focused on the hydrogen business. The Group is already very active in Japan in this field, having so far installed 3 hydrogen energy stations (in Tokyo, Kawasaki, and Saga). One of these stations demonstrated the feasibility of a complete “Blue Hydrogen” chain, from wood chips to clean mobility.
Air Liquide is getting ready to play a supporting role in the switch to the new energy mix that includes hydrogen. Today, some 60 hydrogen filling stations have been designed and delivered by Air Liquide around the world, helping to spread the use of hydrogen for clean mobility.
François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and a member of Air Liquide's Executive Committee, commented: “Air Liquide is proud to support those government initiatives. Those new developments illustrate the commitment of the Group to participate to the deployment of the hydrogen energy infrastructure worldwide. Hydrogen is one of the innovative solutions that offer a response in the short term to the challenges of sustainable mobility: reducing greenhouse gases, local pollution in our cities and dependency on oil-based fuels thus contributing to the preservation of the environment.”
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With Blue Hydrogen, Air Liquide is moving towards a gradual decarbonization of its hydrogen production dedicated to energy applications.
In practical terms, Air Liquide takes a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary to these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020, by combining: