European Hydrogen Road Tour Update

25 Sep 2012

H2 Road Tour

October 2012 marks a milestone in the history of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) in the UK. Four international car manufacturers will join forces to demonstrate hydrogen-powered FCEV are not just technologies of the future but of today. A total of seven FCEV from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will come to the UK as part of the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012.

The Road Tour lasts one month overall with special event stopovers in nine European cities, where the public will be given the opportunity to experience the benefits of this alternative power source. The UK-leg of the Tour runs from Wednesday 3rd October 2012 to Saturday 6th October. The Cardiff and London venues will offer the first-ever opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive FCEV. Special events will also take place in Bristol, as well as Swindon where refuelling demonstrations will be held at the UK's first public-access hydrogen refuelling station located at Honda's manufacturing plant.

The event aims to reach out to politicians, industry leaders, media and the public to help improve awareness around FCEV and their benefits, as well as how the UK needs to develop in order to accommodate a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. While the technology exists for hydrogen vehicles today, there is a real need to improve hydrogen distribution infrastructure. This tour also marks the most widespread effort to promote FCEV in Europe to date.

The FCEV will move through Copenhagen, Hamburg, Hannover, Bolzano and Paris, before heading to the UK cities of Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon and London, supported by local organisations in each city.

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 focuses on gaining customer acceptance for hydrogen-powered FCEV and preparing the market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The experience from operating nineteen FCEV 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 commented: "Toyota has been active in fuel cell technology for the last twenty 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 FCEV - with their great range while at the same time short refuelling 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, "Honda believes fuel cell electric vehicles are the ultimate mobility solution, providing a practical, environmentally clean and near silent answer to transport requirements. The European Hydrogen Road Tour offers a great opportunity to give the public, media and government officials a chance to experience this impressive zero emission technology for themselves."

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe describes its 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 FCEV, but also their benefits. As the availability and performance of this technology improves, we can look forward to FCEV providing sustainable mobility to future generations while dramatically reducing climate change."

A fuel cell efficiently transforms hydrogen’s chemical energy into electricity and heat. The only emission is pure water. In combination with an electric motor, it can be used to power vehicles, delivering a much higher driving range and faster refuelling time than battery electric vehicles. FCEV deliver performance comparable with today's conventional internal combustion engine vehicles but with zero tailpipe emissions and almost no sound whilst driving. 

Summary:

  • Events in nine European cities: Hamburg, Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen.
  • Cardiff: VIP Event & Public Ride & Drive, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Wednesday 3 October 2012
  • Bristol: Breakfast VIP Event, Create Centre, Thursday 4 October 2012
  • Swindon: Refuelling Demonstration & VIP Event, Honda of the UK Manufacturing, 11.00-15.00 Thursday 4 October 2012
  • London: VIP Event, City Hall, Friday 5 October 2012
  • London: Public Ride & Drive, Concert Hall Approach, South Bank, Saturday 6 October 2012
  • Cars available for test drives for the general public, politicians & media (subject to availability and license acceptance)
  • Cars from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will take part
  • Refuelling at a movable station and existing hydrogen stations along the route.
  • UK Partners: Welsh Government, Ynni Glan, Bristol City Council, BOC, Forward Swindon, London Hydrogen Partnership (Mayor of London), Honda of the UK Manufacturing

 

More information on the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 can be found on the project website.

For more information on the UK leg of the European Road Tour please contact

UK Co-ordinator, Guto Owen, Director, Ynni Glan

M +44 (0)7974 565421    E guto.owen@ynniglan.co.uk     Twitter: @H2RoadTourUK

 For more information on the overall European Road Tour please contact

Coordinator, Dr. Ulrich Buenger, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST).

T +49 (89) 608 110 – 21      E coordinator@H2moves.eu 

To book your place at one of the UK’s 4 tour venues and hear more about the future of hydrogen fuel cell transport and, register your interest in test driving a FCEV please visit http://h2roadtouruk.eventbrite.co.uk/.

Pictures from the project and the tour can be found on its Flickr page.

The European news release can be found here.

Source: Ynni Glan

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