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Oslo opens new hydrogen station, as fuel cell car fleet grows to 17 vehicles

A third hydrogen refueling station has been opened in Oslo, as the Norwegian capital works to become an international hotspot for zero emission vehicles. The inauguration also saw the arrival of two new fuel cell cars from Korean automaker Hyundai, with a total of 17 fuel cell vehicles now operating in the region.

The new station – in the district of Gaustad – is the first such facility in Norway where the hydrogen is produced onsite exclusively by electrolysis, using electricity from hydro power for zero emissions.

The new station and the increased fleet of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are part of the first large-scale demonstration project  for hydrogen and fuel cell cars, supported by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The cars in the project will be leased to private and industrial customers, and used on an everyday basis.

The H2moves Scandinavia project – with a total budget of nearly €20 million, and support also given from both Danish and Norwegian national funds – aims to accelerate the market introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by boosting customer acceptance for the technology.

The Korean car manufacturer Hyundai also unveiled its hydrogen powered SUV ix35 FCEV to the Norwegian hydrogen project. Earlier this year the Nordic countries signed a letter of intent together with Hyundai, to advance hydrogen as a fuel and prepare the market for fuel cell electric vehicles.

Hyundai was recently selected to provide a Hyundai ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) as a demonstration vehicle for European Parliament members and policymakers.

‘Electric vehicles with fuel cells are ready for the market, and we will start with the serial production in 2014 already,’ says Professor Herbert Kohler, Daimler’s Vice President for eDrive & Future Mobility. ‘But since alternative drives require alternative infrastructures, we work closely together with partners from governments, energy providers, and several automobile manufacturers.’

Hyundai and Daimler were part of an alliance of automakers who issued an unprecedented joint statement two years ago, committing to the market introduction of fuel cell vehicles from 2015.

The hydrogen station, located at the research organization SINTEF, was manufactured by the Danish company H2 Logic. It provides fast refueling of hydrogen, in just three minutes, and a comparable range to gasoline on one refueling. In this way hydrogen will enable electric mobility with the same convenience as gasoline.

While VIPs and politicians had the first chance to drive these cars, next week the general public will have the opportunity to experience a silent, zero-emission car. On Saturday 26 November, anyone who shows their driver’s license can go to the mall at Aker Brygge, for a test drive accompanied by an expert from the car company.

The H2moves Scandinavia project joins Scandinavia to the ongoing fuel cell demonstration projects in Germany and the rest of Europe, closing the hydrogen infrastructure gap between countries.

The project’s cars in Oslo comprise 10 Mercedes-Benz B-class F-CELL cars supplied by Daimler (380 km range); two Hyundai ix35 FCEV cars (525 km range); and five Th!nk city cars. The latter were originally battery electric cars, but are now equipped with a fuel cell range extender, giving a range of 250 km.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Policy, investment and markets