Final project report from H2moves Scandinavia

The H2moves Scandinavia project ended 31 December 2012.

You can download the final report as a pdf here.

The H2moves Scandinavia project has been a unique opportunity to showcase the reliability and hence marked preparedness of hydrogen operated fuel cell cars under daily driving conditions, even in harsher climate conditions pertinent to Oslo and Copenhagen.

Even though it has been the very first of a chain of Lighthouse Demonstration Projects (LHP), funded by the public private partnership Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), it has generated several valuable strategic insights which have been summarised in the table below.


The most outstanding result is that the hardware of fuel cell vehicles and the hydrogen refuelling stations (a stationary one in Oslo – Gaustad and a moveable one for use in the European Road Tour) have proven to be unexpectedly reliable. Except of a compressor failure which downed the Gaustad station for two months availabilities of 95-100% on a monthly basis could be reported and no single accident was encountered.

The other important result of the project has been the wide dissemination of the results, both by high level events, but specifically through the possibility for VIP and public ride&drives. All this has cumulated in the European Hydrogen Road Tour, posed as the major hydrogen and fuel cell event in 2012. During this tour H2mS could not only provide valuable insights into the learnings from everyday driving in the Nordic countries or offer free rides strategic, but also collect valuable feedback. The echo from the regions visited was overwhelmingly positive and relevant people announced they would investigate into supporting the hydrogen infrastructure build up or start own demonstration activities. A firework of single events has made the EU Road Tour become a real success, among others by participation in the EcoDolomite electric vehicle race in Bolzano, a visit with own booth at the Paris Motor Show and of London’s livingroom, the London’s Mayor office, signing of an Memorandum of Understanding by the Nordic countries with several international automobile companies in Copenhagen to name but a few.

Also locally in the Nordic countries, the vehicle customers have used their FCEVs for promotional purposes, such as SINTEF for a Ride&Drive event in Trondheim in combination with an inner city rally (Daimler B-Class F-CELL), as ZERO for a trip to Monte Carlo of about 2,200 km refuelling at hydrogen stations along the route (Hyundai iX35 FCEV) or as H2 Logic as emission free support vehicle for the Denmark leg of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race. It goes without saying that all events had a very good media coverage, partially also at international level.

Another aspect which is typically forgotten in this context, but an important ingredient for a successful demonstration project is the building of stakeholder networks. On one side, the project partners have established a trustful cooperation, and here specifically the different approaches by stakeholders from the Nordic countries, from central Europe and from South Korea have contributed to a better understanding of the cultural differences but for the same technical and societal goal of introducing fuel cell vehicle technology.

On the other side, external stakeholders such as the technicians trained in the automotive workshops in Oslo and Copenhagen and certification or safety authorities in both countries got involved and learnt about the market readiness of fuel cell vehicles. As a good example, the rule banning gas fuelled cars from belowground parking garages, which had been established the very same moment when H2mS’s demo phase commenced, was repealed after only few weeks of negotiation between the automobile manufacturer and authority.

The consortium is satisfied about the outcome of the project. The hardware lives on in Oslo and Copenhagen outside the framework of the H2mS project, the FCEVs collecting further miles on Norwegian and Danish roads and the refuelling station continuing to serve hydrogen to FCEVs in both growing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure networks. Strategies in both Norway and Denmark and in the other Nordic countries have been developed for a further deployment of the technology. H2mS has contributed an important and visible milestone along these developments.

European Hydrogen Road Tour Report

alpernaThe European Hydrogen Road Tour was carried out in September - October 2012 as a part of the H2moves Scandianvia project, funded by European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme, launched by the European Commission and European industry. Nine European cities were visited and at each place there were different kind of events i.e. VIP seminars, public test driving or workshops.

Committed individuals from widespread organisations were involved to make this happen and the results from the events can be found in this document.

High political engagement in hydrogen event at Paris Motor Show

invisiblecar_parisThe European Hydrogen Road Tour made a three day stop at Paris Motor Show 27 – 29 of September. As local event host, Air Liquide had provided the stand, a slot for four H2mS fuel cell vehicles at the electric vehicle test drive facilities, a VIP event with panel discussion and a mobile refuelling facility at their facilities in Versailles. A definite highlight of the event was a VIP cocktail with François Brottes, Member of Parliament (Député of Isère) and Chairman of the Commission of Economic Affairs at the National Assembly and Jean Desessard, Senator of Paris, as local politicians and representatives from Air Liquide, the four car manufacturers participating in the Road Tour, the European Fuel Cell and the Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU).

The political messages passed on to the audience of about 40 guests invited by Air Liquide turned out to be encouraging for the hydrogen industry. The message was passed that it is paramount for policymakers to facilitate the development of networks and infrastructures. In order to persuade both the general public and the decision-makers in France FCEV technology needs to be stressed as a pertinent new mobility option with the following important ingredients:

  • the economic value of hydrogen operated fuel cells needs to be assessed and demonstrated,
  • the actors involved in the development of fuel cell electric vehicles need to demonstrate with certainty that this new technology is safe in everyday use and to send strong signals to convince the public and
  • the full value chains of hydrogen production in France need to be compared with those of other transport technologies, i.e. to guarantee that hydrogen operated fuel cell vehicles have a beneficial effect for the environment.

In addition, the policymakers stressed that the use of renewable energy for hydrogen production is a key ingredient if this technology should have a chance in France to become competitive with the use of fossil fuels in internal combustion engines which clearly need to be phased out in the long term. Expected advantages are the mitigation of climate change and the reduction of pollutant emissions in the cities.

The other important benefit of hydrogen could be its use as storage medium to balance fluctuating renewable energies such as photovoltaics or wind power, should it demonstrate a relevant potential.

The representatives from industry and FCH JU replied by pointing out several highly relevant aspects of how to prepare for a market introduction of fuel cell vehicles also in France. One important issue is the simultaneous use of hydrogen as vehicle fuel and storage medium for renewable electricity, which promises to improve the overall economics to develop the hydrogen infrastructure. In order to do this successfully, continuity will be needed both in the industrial engagement to provide the missing refuelling infrastructure and a larger number of cars to increase the infrastructure utilization.

Another, recently more often cited aspect is to build out the use of European and decentral energy resources to avoid blackouts in the energy system to avoid major damage to global economies, even though prominent politicians still deny a real threat. About 600 B€ are spent each year in Europe alone to import energy which is then simply burnt off, instead of creating values within Europe to provide a basis for a more sustainable energy infrastructure. This should become a major element of the energy SET Plan.

The value of demonstration projects is believed to be an important one, as regions can learn one by one hands on to how the introduction of fuel cell vehicles benefit not only the environment, but can also do that at little change to the existing transport network. Yet, also here it is true that continuity is applied as a demonstration project should be followed by further activities towards market introduction as otherwise, the roll out is stalled by investments remaining unused. I.e., as experience has shown also in Asia, demonstration projects should always be followed by a market introduction strategy.

Concerning the primary energy source to produce hydrogen in France, renewable electricity will become the preferred route in medium to long term, whereas other EU pathways in the short term may include its production from natural gas, through the use of nuclear energy and by means of carbon capture and storage as a means to mitigate GHG emissions from the use of fossil energy. Yet, French industry stands ready to participate in the build-up of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

In parallel to the discussions also in Paris a test drive of all fuel cell vehicle brands was offered to VIPs and the public.

H2moves Scandinavia Final Conference

Welcome to the Final Conference of H2moves Scandinavia!

H2moves Scandinavia is a Joint Technology Initiative (FCH JU) on Hydrogen & Fuel Cells which is funded by the European Commission and the European Industry. The project objective is to gain customer acceptance for the FCEV and hydrogen infrastructure and prepare for the mass market roll-out initiating in 2014 - 2015. This 3-year project has been ongoing since the start in 2010 and comes to it’s end in December 2012.

invitation_final_eventWe are pleased to herewith invite you to the Final Conference which takes place in Brussels on the 30 November 2012.

The ambition of the conference is to share our experience, report the project outcome and communicate the strategic lessons we have learnt from Scandinavia to the EU Commission and to other regions who are interested and are planning own demonstration activities in the future.

Date: 30 November 2012
Time: 9:30 – 14:00 CET
Venue: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), Meeting room at 7th floor, Toison d'Or 56-60 B- 1049 Brussels
Participants: Representatives from the EU Commission

Representatives from candidate regions who are interested in the project’s achievements and are planning to start own demonstration activities in the future.

The conference in is limited to a maximum of 80 invited participants.

Organizer: The Final Conference is organized by H2moves Scandinavia through Hydrogen Sweden together with FCH JU and HyER.

Registration: By e-mail to before 27 November 2012

State name, address, organization, phone no. & e-mail address

Copenhagen - final stop on the European Hydrogen Road Tour

Copenhagen: Green city with high ambitions to become emission free until 2025 with major efforts on their way

The special highlight of the Copenhagen event was that on 9th October representatives from politics (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and automobile industry (Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota) had jointly signed a memorandum of understanding(read press release here) to prepare for a commercialization of fuel cell cars by rolling out cars and the required refueling infrastructure with a large degree of coordination.

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Signing of the MoU between four automakers and Scandinavian organisations.

Even though this event had not been prepared by the H2moves Scandinavia project, it served as a perfect input to next day’s hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle expert workshop. Also, the signature event was accompanied by a ride & drive event not only for the VIP guests but also for the public. The test drives continued the next day, when about 20 drivers used the vehicles for a total of 24 individual rides.

On the last event day of the European Hydrogen Road Tour, about 80 guests gathered at the Society of Danish Engineers in Copenhagen. Representatives from industry, government, hydrogen initiatives, universities and the press met to exchange their views and share insights on next steps to introduce fuel cells and hydrogen in transport. A unique detail of this road tour event was that a representative from a national Oil Industry Association provided his insights to fuel cells and hydrogen for transport.

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The seminar in Copenhagen was well attended.
The seminar in Copenhagen was well attended.

After a warm welcome from the event host Ole Balslev (Chairman of Automotive Section – The Danish Society of Engineers) the project H2moves Scandinavia and the four participating car manufacturers presented their companies’ views on “FCEV commercialization status & plans”. Even after four weeks of discussions the questions & answers session revealed that questions yet unheard came up as a pleasant surprise to the project partners. Automobile industry again reported about the clear evidence of how far the technology has progressed. One presenter told the story of how the low temperature capability was reached and when it was understood that "engineers cannot beat physics" (freezing of water) an adapted approach of water draining was developed. In the strive for the electric vehicle that will be fully accepted by the customers, the car manufacturers insisted on the fuel cell technology avoiding Marie Antoniette’s idiom "if there is no bread eat cake instead" which will not be an acceptable solution.

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A public ride&drive event was held at DTU (Technical University of Denmark).
A public ride&drive event was held at DTU (Technical University of Denmark).

One of these questions was about the fuel cell deterioration with respect to calendar lifetime of the FCEVs, or more precisely, the fuel cell stacks themselves. All auto makers unanimously provided the same answer: The lifetime of a fuel cell is longer than the lifetime of most of the rest of the car. In tests where fuel cells were stored for a couple of years, no deterioration could be detected. Another question addressed a comparison of development expenditures for fuel cell and conventional internal combustion engines. Here the reply was that the questions was understood as being of rhetoric nature: how could a development period of 100 years (combustion engine) be compared with development period of 15 years? Of course, not at all! And finally, the question why automobile industry would not pursue onboard reforming with the beauty of liquid fuels onboard was answered that the challenges were found to be in the complexity, maintainability, difficult dynamics and high specific costs of this high unit production component as compared to large scale central but stationary reforming.

The second session with regional contributions from Norway, Sweden and Denmark specifically addressed the issue of "Infrastructure status & plans throughout Scandinavia".

For customers’ convenience, a focused retail unit has been established earlier this year by the name of HyOP. The goal is that all existing stations should be open 24hours and 7 days a week and hydrogen should be paid for with regular credit card. Also, the Norwegian HRS infrastructure is to be expanded. Now, there are 21 FCEVs at the moment plus five CHIC fuel cell busses. During the pre-commercial phase, a viable business model will be developed. To fuel 10,000 cars, 20-30 stations are needed in Oslo and vicinity. There is the possibility to build stations and gradually extend them with a modular system adapting the size to the growing hydrogen demand, greatly reducing costs.

The hydrogen strategies in Sweden are carried on by Hydrogen Sweden as NGO comprising 55 members from the entire fuel cell/hydrogen value chain: industry, transportation, energy, consultancy & engineering, universities & institutes as well as public organizations. Even though full governmental support is missing, there is a total of 100 organization are involved in hydrogen activities in one or the other way across all of Sweden. As part of the Next Move project a joint vehicle tender from Sweden, Denmark and Norway for FCEVs has been issued. This tender will, among other also co-fund the 15 Hyundai ix35 FCEV for Copenhagen in the HyTEC project in April 2013. About five FCEVs are going to each, Norway and Sweden. A highly visible focus for early HRS infrastructure roll out in Sweden is the corridor highway from Oslo (Norway) to Copenhagen (Denmark) which also includes the western coastline of Sweden.

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A Toyota FCV-adv refuelling at H2Logic's movable hydrogen station, placed in Copenhagen during the event days.
A Toyota FCV-adv refuelling at H2Logic's movable hydrogen station, placed in Copenhagen during the event days.

A Toyota FCV-adv refuelling at H2Logic's movable hydrogen station, placed in Copenhagen during the event days.Finally, Denmark’s highly ambitious vision for a hydrogen infrastructure roll out by 2050 is to supply 95% zero emission cars. Following automobile industry’s guidance this will possibly be achieved by an equal share of battery (short range) and fuel cell (medium to long range) electric vehicles. Today, there are three HRS in Denmark, but only one of these has latest pre-cooling, 700 bar technology. Until 2015, a network of stations shall be erected in Denmark to become denser in the following years. A cash flow assessment showed that from 2025 onwards commercial business can be expected. As Denmark profits from a perfect wind energy potential, the hydrogen stations are supposed to be supplied by onsite hydrogen production. Today, Denmark has about 2,000 gasoline stations to supply about 2.1 million passenger cars, yielding a ratio of 1,000 cars per station which is much higher than the average fuel station density in Europe (Germany: about 3,000 cars per station). It is anticipated that a network of 450 hydrogen refueling station will allow a full coverage of the country then growing further if hydrogen has kicked off as a major fuel. A fairly recent development, which has also been taken up by Danish actors, is the economic improvement of the use of hydrogen as vehicle fuel and storage medium at large scale, leveling out fluctuating renewable

Among others, the audience was keen to understand the societal costs for the required fuelling infrastructure? It was pointed out that a (cheap) bottle of wine per inhabitant per day for one year would cover the initial development costs. In comparison about 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations are needed for base coverage and to cover the investments about 5 % of the vehicles’ price tag could pay for this early roll-out.

Another question addressed whether industry believed that home refueling stations would ever become competitive for individual households. Although not being an issue for some of the stakeholders at all ("even a washing machine is seen as a product too complex to stand in each single household") , one automobile manufacturer thought it could become an option for collective fuel supply for new residential projects in the form of energy stations, including stationary fuel cell for energy co-generation, serving several households. A rhetoric question was answered as expected pointing out at the economic synergy of using fork lift truck refueling stations to simultaneously providing public hydrogen fuel.

The last session was focusing on "Outside views on hydrogen & electro-mobility". A representative from the City of Copenhagen presented the ambitious efforts that are being undertaken to improve today’s unsustainable transport in Copenhagen (local and GHG emissions, noise and congestion) in a city posed to grow from 500 to 600 thousand inhabitants by 2015. The general goal of the "Copenhagen 2025 Climate Plan" aims to reduce CO2 emissions for Copenhagen to zero by 2025. 200-250 billion DKK and about 28,000-35,000 FTE (full time equivalent) of manpower are earmarked to solve the challenges. 11% of the total CO2 reduction needs to be provided from the transport sector. Clean fuels are but just one option to solve the environmental and sustainability challenges. The vision is that an equal share of 1/3 will finally be shouldered by bicycles, public transport as well as individual cars. To enable the fuel cell vehicle market to kick off, three 700 bar hydrogen refueling stations of latest design HRS are to be built in Copenhagen until 2015. Also, by 2015 (!) the municipal car fleet should be composed of 85% CO2 free vehicles with batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

The questions from the audience addressed the issue of congestion charges in Copenhagen resembling those for London, only exempting electric cars. Even though the Copenhagen City Council is in favor of such a solution and different from London, Copenhagen alone cannot enact such a regulation as this would have to be decided at national level.

The clear statement of the Danish Oil Industry Association was that hydrogen as one optional alternative fuels of the future in need to demonstrate the performance of fossil based fuels today. Based on its insights (drivability, comfort, reach, refuelability, economy, ecologic performance, etc.), hydrogen fuelled fuel cell cars already today offer a relevant perspective even though several ‘bugs’ need to be solved (costs and infrastructure, safety perception in the public). From their view, hydrogen should be produced from renewable and sustainable sources at affordable costs and profitable for industry.

A (rhetoric) question from the audience touched on the issue whether the societal costs of fossil energy imports, instead of creating value within Denmark and Scandinavia have already been addressed. Also, one opinion was that a ‘black&white’ approach should be avoided of e.g. ‘only hydrogen from renewable’ versus ‘a cost and ecological impact’ approach which would allow growing quantities of renewable hydrogen to enter the market. This would truly reflect the universality of hydrogen as alternative vehicle fuel and energy carrier.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]