September 13 marks an extraordinary milestone in the history of fuel cell vehicles (FCV). Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will team up for the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012, a special, one-month, nine-city European tour to show that hydrogen-powered FCVs are not technologies of the future, but are ready for today.
A total of seven fuel-cell cars will participate in the tour, showcasing each automaker’s hydrogen fuel cell system.
Starting in Hamburg, Germany tomorrow, the FCVs will visit Hannover, Bolzano in northern Italy, Paris, Cardiff, Wales and Bristol, Swindon and London, England. The tour will finish in Copenhagen. The tour will be supported by local organizations in each city with H2 Logic Denmark providing mobile refuelling stations in some stopover cities.
The tour offers the public an opportunity to experience fuel cell technology. This year’s tour marks the first chance for people in several of the stopover cities to actually drive a FCV.
The goal of the tour is to raise awareness of FCVs among politicians, industry leaders, the press and the public and demonstrate that fuel-cell technology exists today and the only thing holding it back is the need to improve the hydrogen distribution infrastructure.
The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project, the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking program established by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders.
The experience that has beeen gained from operating 19 FCVs in Oslo and Copenhagen shows that the technology is reliable now even in harsh Scandinavian winters.
Michel Gardel, Vice-President Communications for Toyota Motor Europe 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, Daimler AG’s Director of fuel cell drive development 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 GmbH remarked that “Honda believes 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 FCV clearly demonstrates not only our commitment to producing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, but also the benefits of FCV. As the availability and performance of this technology improves, we can look forward to FCVs providing sustainable mobility to future generations while dramatically reducing climate change.”