Hamburg becomes centre for emission-free mobility

Mar 24, 2009
  • Expansion of fuel cell powered vehicles fleet
  • Construction of hydrogen filling stations
Hamburg – The Hanseatic City of Hamburg has started today a major project for the use of fuel cell vehicles together with Daimler, Shell, Total and Vattenfall Europe. The aim of this cooperation is to accelerate the expansion of an emission-free vehicle fleet and create a corresponding infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations. The project is part of the Clean Energy Partnership in Hamburg and Berlin. It is being supported by the federal German government as part of the national innovation programme for hydrogen and fuel cell technology (NIP). In addition, a Fuel Cell Lab is being founded in Hamburg to further research on fuel cell technology.
The Green Capital of Europe
The signatures below the memorandum of understanding signed by the partners today show that the city of Hamburg is resolutely following the path it has taken. Its efforts were recently given official recognition in Brussels, and from 2011 Hamburg will be entitled to call itself the "Green Capital" of Europe. The city is already a member of the Clean Energy Partnership, and in coming years it will be committed to providing even stronger impulses where sustainable mobility is concerned. One of these is its support for various technologies for low-emission vehicles. In addition to its pioneering role in the use of hydrogen powered cars, the city also plans to set an example in the use of battery-powered vehicles.
"Hamburg is already a trailblazer in testing low-emission fuel cell buses. This technology is also an important factor in safeguarding the future of local businesses in the aviation and marine sectors. There are also the benefits in terms of climate protection. Our goal is therefore to continue increasing the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles. We also intend to use battery-powered vehicles, as both drive systems are low in emissions and offer synergies on a common technological development path", says Ole von Beust, the Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
Emission-free fleet of fuel cell cars and buses
Fuel cell buses from Daimler have already been operated on the roads of Hamburg for the city’s transport authority HOCHBAHN since 2003. This fleet will be expanded in the next years, with the addition of fuel cell powered cars. From 2010 a total of ten latest-generation fuel cell buses will be in operation in Hamburg, plus 20 Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell cars. The company also sees a potential for the use of 500 to 1000 fuel cell powered vehicles by around 2015. A precondition for this is the parallel construction of the necessary infrastructure.
"As the "Green Capital of Europe" of the year 2011, Hamburg is the ideal location for the operation of our fuel cell passenger cars and buses", says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG. "It is particularly gratifying that we and our partners are all moving in the same direction, and taking important steps towards the creation of the necessary infrastructure. The city of Hamburg will therefore be a major location where the emission-free operation of electrically powered cars will be a day-to-day reality."
Construction of new hydrogen filling stations
As part of the cooperative venture, Shell and TOTAL will add hydrogen pumps with 700-bar technology to four public filling stations in Hamburg. Fuel cell powered vehicles will be able to refuel within a few minutes at these filling stations, and thanks to the high hydrogen pressure they will have an operating range of more than 400 kilometres on one filling.
Dr. Peter Blauwhoff, Chairman of Deutsche Shell Holding GmbH, sees the benefits of this technology:
"Shell has long been involved in hydrogen technology, and is committed to furthering the Clean City Cars project for Hamburg. We will be contributing our know-how and expertise to the coming discussions and plans."
TOTAL also intends to increase its involvement in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg: "We are completely convinced by these activities here in Hamburg, therefore it was easy for us to decide in favour of expanding our hydrogen infrastruc­ture. In the mid-term we intend to extend the hydrogen refuelling network in Hamburg and Berlin as part of the Clean Energy Partnership", says Michel Mallet, General Manager of Total Deutschland GmbH.
Hydrogen from renewable energy sources
The fuel cell buses operated by the city’s transport authority HOCHBAHN since 2003 are fuelled with hydrogen generated from renewable resources. The hydrogen is supplied by Vattenfall Europe. In the next few years the company plans to expand its capacities in Hamburg even further.
"Hydrogen obtained from renewable energy sources, especially wind power, can play an increasingly important role in maintaining our mobility in the future", says Dr. Rainer Schubach, general representative of Vattenfall Europe, "it is low in emissions and enables us to make sustainable use of our wind energy."
Research for the energy supply of the future
With the support of the city of Hamburg, Airbus, EADS and DLR will found a Fuel Cell Lab for the applied testing and optimisation of fuel cell systems. The initial aim is to test the use of fuel cells in aircraft, and to accelerate the technical maturity of these systems. Other applications will be added later, for example road traffic. A trust with a professorial chair is also to be created there with the support of Daimler AG. At present the Fuel Cell Lab is integrated into the plans of the Centre for Applied Aviation Research (ZAL).