IKEA and Opel Partner on Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration in Berlin

Two IKEA employees have been trained to collect data that will be analyzed as part of the test while making customer service trips in the emission-free, low-noise Opel/GM HydroGen3.

Published: 03-Jun-2005

Berlin/Rüsselsheim/Hofheim. IKEA customers in Berlin will hardly hear the arrival of the company´s service personnel in the future. Visits will be made with the emission-free HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle, which is based on the Opel Zafira and fueled by liquid hydrogen. In a practical test launched today in Berlin, the Swedish furniture store and the German automaker aim to gain experience with the hydrogen-based propulsion concept as part of the Clean Energy Partnership Berlin (CEP) project.

The fuel cell Zafira will be used by the Berlin-Spandau branch of the IKEA furniture store. Two IKEA employees have been trained to collect data that will be analyzed as part of the test while making customer service trips in the emission-free, low-noise vehicle. “IKEA’s basic principle regarding the environment is to keep any environmentally harmful effects in all areas of activity as low as possible. We are therefore very pleased that by using this vehicle for IKEA Spandau service trips, we can contribute to bringing this technology a step closer to day-to-day suitability”, said Peter Betzel, Deputy Managing Director, IKEA Germany. “We see a great need for environmentally friendly cars. If we are able to use hydrogen as an energy carrier on a large scale in the future, then motoring will be made far more environmentally compatible. IKEA is happy to support this goal”, added Betzel.

“Mobility with zero emissions for tomorrow”

“We want the society of the future to remain mobile without greenhouse gas emissions”, said Hans H. Demant, Managing Director, Adam Opel AG. “General Motors and Opel have invested one billion dollars in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to date.” Demant added that the HydroGen3 has demonstrated the high level of development reached, but a lot more hard work is needed until fuel cell vehicles can be profitably produced in large numbers.

General Motors and Opel have been among the leading companies in the development of fuel cell technology for a number of years. The HydroGen3 is powered by a 60 kW/82 hp electric motor, with acceleration from zero to 100km/h in 16 seconds and maximum speed of 160km/h. The HydroGen3 has already proven its endurance on many occasions, as in the summer of 2004: traveling 9696 kilometers between Hammerfest, Norway and Cabo da Roca, Portugal in only 38 days, it set a new world record for fuel cell vehicles. In April 2005, the HydroGen3 passed yet another endurance test. With Heinz-Harald Frentzen at the wheel, it won the fuel cell vehicle category at the first “Rallye Monte Carlo Fuel Cell and Hybrid”.

Berlin CEP demonstration project

The Clean Energy Partnership Berlin (CEP) hydrogen demonstration project, which started in fall 2004, marks a new chapter in the history of energy and is one of the biggest European projects for sustainable mobility. The public-private partnership initiative is supported by the German Federal Government and ten partner companies. Its goal is to keep tomorrow’s society mobile with the help of clean fuel sources without greenhouse gas emissions. The German Federal Government and partner companies are investing


33 million euros in the CEP “Sustainability Strategy for Germany”. Hydrogen is completely environmentally compatible and is an innovative storage and transport medium for renewable energy.

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