Germany to Launch 1st Fuel Cell-Powered Carshare System
Live Munich and want to drive to the Alps in a carbon-free automobile? Starting this summer, European industrial gas producer Linde will be helping make that a viable possibility by setting up the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered carshare system.
Fifty Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell automobiles will be stationed around Munich for temporary rental using a mobile app. Renters can keep the cars as long as they need them, though rates aren't yet available on the BeeZero website.
The chief advantage of hydrogen as an energy carrier - technically, it's not a 'fuel' since it doesn't exist independently in nature, but is always bound to other atoms like oxygen and carbon - is that it produces zero toxic emissions when used in a fuel cell, releasing only water vapor. Its high energy density - three times that of diesel - also translates into longer driving ranges. In the case of the ix35 as much as 370 miles (595 km) on a tank of compressed gas, typically stored at 10,000 psi. Refuel time is similar to fossil fuels, minutes, instead of hours as is often the case with pure battery electric cars.
Linde says that it creates its hydrogen from excess renewable energy (electrolyzed H2O...water) and from landfill gas (steam-reformed methane CH4).
How practical the program will be for long distance journeys, however, remains an open question, since in all of Germany there are but 19 hydrogen refueling stations.
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