If you have a fuel cell-powered vehicle, you can now drive from southern Germany, all the way to Italy’s Lake Garda. This is because of the opening of a hydrogen station in Detmoldstrasse in Munich. This completes the South Cluster of the project of the European HyFIVE. This cluster extends from Stuttgarrt to Bolsanno.
Matthias Klietz, head of Research Powertrain at the BMW Group, sums up the advantages of hydrogen, saying, “This new form of mobility, based on hydrogen, offers private and commercial users zero-local-emission long-distance electric mobility with no concessions on comfort, space and refuelling times.”
The TOTAL multi-energy filling station that’s now in Detmoldstrasse is a step in the right direction as it is the first filling station in the world that the public can access which dispenses hydrogen through the use of 2 types of refuelling technology.
These are the Industry-standard 700 bar CHG2 hydrogen storage technology which is already in use for vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells. The other is a Cryo-compressed hydrogen storage technology CCH2 which was developed by the BMW Group. This involves the storage of gaseous hydrogen at very low temperatures within the vehicles at 350 bar pressure. Currently, it’s still in the advanced development stage, though it is slated for wider use in the future. CCH2 tanks can provide owners with up 50% more hydrogen capacity and could even allow drivers to drive for up to 500 kilometres without needing to refill.
The whole point to the project being in the real world was so that the BMW Group can develop the technology of both tank types which simply can’t be done in a lab. They needed actual scenarios that happen on actual roads so that they can adjust and modify wherever necessary. This is one of the reasons for the hydrogen refuelling project.
As for what Hydrogen fuel electric vehicles can offer owners, this would include fast and efficient refuelling as compared to conventional electric vehicles since it takes about five minutes for a full tank. As already mentioned, drivers can also go for up to 500 km without needed to refuel, which is staggering. Finally, these vehicles produce no emission.
The BMW I models should be a great fit to this technology, along with the many models that BMW is slating to convert to plug-in hybrid variants. Their eDrive technology is proven and tested as well, so it should go well with this particular development.