Hydrogen cars have not yet caught on in the region. This is shown by a look at the number of registered vehicles in mainfranken. Only two cars – one each in the habbergen and wurzburg land – are currently registered in the region's counties, as the district administration offices informed us in response to a query from this editorial office. That now on friday in biebelried (lkr. Kitzingen) the opening of the second hydrogen filling station in the district and at the same time in all of lower franconia seems contradictory at first glance.
But political interest is high at the opening of the new filling station at the A 3/A 7 interchange in biebelried. With biebelried's mayor roland hoh (freie wahler), district administrator tamara bischof (freie wahler), member of the state parliament barbara becker (CSU) and member of the bundestag anja weibgerber (CSU), representatives of all political levels are present at the refueling event. Standing together at the pump.Total press officer burkhard reuss shows you how it works. The filling station company is part of the H2 mobility group, which is currently expanding the hydrogen network throughout germany. Representatives from the gas, filling station and automotive industries, for example shell, linde and volkswagen, are also present.
What advantages do hydrogen vehicles have over electric cars??
Similar to natural gas vehicles, the nozzle is simply inserted into a valve. It takes a good five minutes to fill up the tank. "The tank lasts up to 500 kilometers, reuss explains to the politicians. The reaction of the gas with air produces electricity in the vehicle's fuel cell, which then drives an electric motor. Basically, the drive is the same as for an electric car.
What is different, however, is the range of the two fuel alternatives. Electric cars are not yet suitable for long distances, says total energy engineer fanny cacherat. Hydrogen vehicles, on the other hand, could already be used on long-distance routes as well as in freight and local public transport because of their greater range. "In switzerland, for example, a supermarket chain will use 1000 trucks powered by fuel cells.", says press spokesman reuss.
Expensive vehicle prices put the brakes on development
But why are there still so few hydrogen cars on the roads in mainfranken?? One reason could be the high price. The entry-level model is currently priced at 70,000 euros. "At this price, almost 100 percent goes back to the fuel cell.", explains engineer cacherat. But she is confident that in the next few years more favorable models will come on the market.Due to the low number of vehicles, hydrogen filling stations are currently not profitable for the operators either. "Profitability is not yet in sight", says reuss from total. "It's a bit of a hen's egg problem." without an existing infrastructure the car industry would not want to invest, the opposite would be true for gas stations and gas suppliers. "That's why we do it together", says reuss. "To establish the technology, we have to move forward together."
Four years of hydrogen filling stations: these are the experiences from geiselwind
H2 mobility currently operates 81 hydrogen refueling stations in germany, 17 of them in bavaria. With biebelried and geiselwind, which opened in 2015, both of the gas stations in lower franconia are located in the district of kitzingen. Why there? "This is due to our strategy", explains reuss. The goal of H2 mobility is to set up refueling stations around the german metropolitan areas and along the highway network. "Here in biebelried, we have two important highways, the A 3 and the A 7, which intersect."
In geiselwind, the hydrogen filling station is located near the A 3 at the autohof strohofer. What is the experience there? "As the network expands, so does the number of vehicles, so frequency is now steadily increasing", ruth strohofer, the managing director, tells us about the past four years in response to a question from this editorial team. In addition to the hydrogen filling station, it also offers several e-charging stations. Your customers are satisfied.
"However, both types of fuel still have to develop in order to become economically viable", according to strohofer. What will ultimately prevail, however, will depend on the demands of car drivers. With an entry price of 20,000 euros, the electric car still seems to have the edge, especially in urban traffic. The politicians at the opening in biebelried agreed that both alternatives should be demanded.