HyTrust Survey Shows Germans Ready for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

20 Mar 2013

HyTrust Survey

Almost all Germans have heard of hydrogen cars; most of them are excited about it. They are not afraid of risks, but they are sceptical about the costs and supply of hydrogen refuelling stations. Hydrogen will make an important contribution to the German energy transition through decentralised production from renewable energy sources.

This is the core result of the representative survey on hydrogen mobility presented by the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU). The survey is part of the social scientific research project HyTrust that surveyed more than 2,500 German citizens about their opinion on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the field of mobility. This project is funded by the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).

The scientific project manager Dr René Zimmer from UfU explains the reason for the enthusiasm: "The hydrogen car has the same benefits as a conventional car and promises zero-emission mobility as an added value." It is therefore important to citizens that the hydrogen used for hydrogen cars is produced from renewable energy.

The Germans have no safety concerns. They trust in German engineering, the stringency of the TÜV (Technical Control Board) and the thoroughness of the authorities. If a hydrogen car gets road approval, it is assumed to be at least as safe as any other vehicle. 89% of the participants said that if “hydrogen cars are officially sold, I assume that they are safe”. They would also have nothing against living next to a hydrogen filling station: this risk is not rated higher than the risk of living next to a conventional gas station.

The Germans are, however, sceptical that there will be a sufficient network of hydrogen refuelling stations in the near future and whether hydrogen cars will be affordable. It is apparent that without a network of stations and if probable costs of hydrogen cars are significantly higher than those of conventional vehicles, the willingness to buy would remain limited.

However, there is a lot of confidence in the marketability of hydrogen vehicles: "Three out of four respondents expect that it will be possible to buy such a car within the next ten years." According to René Zimmer this may give manufacturers enough flexibility for the market introduction of hydrogen cars.

Download the presentation on the survey results here.

Source: HyTrust press release

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