4.1. Supply-Side Conditions
The survey results in Figure 1
and Figure 2
indicate a strong recognition of two driving factors. The first is environmental regulations by European, national or local authorities (e.g., for CO2 or NOX emissions, diesel engines and noise levels etc.) that target passenger vehicle or bus makers (Q4). Environmental policy was reported as a decidedly stronger driver in the bus market than for passenger vehicles (statistically significant at p
-value < 0.0001). The Clean Vehicles Directive
from the European Union was cited in several survey responses (#11,24) and interviews (int. 4,9,12,16). Adopted in June 2019 and scheduled for implementation in April 2021, this regulation sets minimum clean vehicle purchase requirements for the fleets of public agencies, including transit buses. In the case of Germany, aggregated new bus procurements in public transit agencies must henceforth contain a minimum share of specified ‘clean vehicles’ (i.e., 45% for 2021–2025 and 65% for 2026–2030) of which half are zero-emission [85
]. As one interviewed government actor (int. 9) explained, by sending a powerful signal that ‘…there is no future for combustion engines’, this regulation is forcing bus manufacturers to accelerate investments in ZEV drivetrains, with many developing both fuel cell and battery options. Local environmental regulations in Germany were also underscored in interviews, particularly in progressive cities like Hamburg (int. 1). Concretely, in the goal of phasing-out diesel engines to reduce NOX and CO2 emissions, regulations in Hamburg mandate zero-emission buses for all new procurements by public transit fleets after 2020. For passenger vehicles, scheduled to take effect in 2021, European Union CO2 emission limits [86
] mandating a maximum fleet wide average of 130 grams of CO2
per kilometre for new vehicles are also expected to spur the production of zero-emission drivetrains by German automakers. However, surveys (#11,24) and interviews (int. 8) asserted that their driving influence on the production of fuel cell passenger vehicles would be far weaker than regulations driving the bus market. Explanations included claims that Europe’s CO2
emission limits had been ‘watered down by automotive lobbyists’ (#24) and views that German passenger vehicle makers would meet the regulation principally with BEVs and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The second driver highlighted in surveys concerns government schemes to foster technological innovation and production capabilities (Q5). The German government has historically nurtured collaborative technology development via competitive funding programmes for R&D and demonstration projects. For example, the inter-ministerial National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology
administered €1.4 billion over ten years, from 2007 to 2016 [33
]. Extended for the period 2016–2026, this programme currently includes around €25 million in annual funding for mobility applications. Additionally, the German government has worked strategically to spur improvements in technical performance and mass production in the automotive fuel cell industry. The Autostack Industrie
project implemented from 2017 to 2021 is a prominent example [33
]. Building on successor projects at the European level, this mobilised automakers, part suppliers and research institutions with €30 million of German government funding to: (i) increase the power density of fuel cells and reduce platinum loading; (ii) establish common standards and manufacturing platforms; and (iii) raise fuel cell mass production capabilities. Positive evaluations of government support for technological development also surfaced across interviews. Although acknowledging that several technological challenges remain (e.g. how to increase mass production speeds without compromising precision and reliability), multiple respondents (int. 1,8,10,11,14) shared the view that the supply capabilities of German industry are now sufficient for mobility applications, and that government funding programmes have contributed to this. As one respondent (int. 14) explained: ‘We have all the knowledge, and we have all the funds. We have AutoStack Industrie
. We’re all participating. We know that the stack which is being developed there can be manufactured at 30,000 units per year […] But they [government agencies] cannot force industry to build those cars.’
Turning now to barriers, as the above statement suggests, other issues are hampering the ambitions of German automakers to produce vehicles. In particular, three were emphasised.
The first major obstacle concerns the cost of vehicle production (Q2). While this affects both passenger vehicle and buses, surveys reported this barrier as higher for FCEV production (statistically significant at p
-value 0.035). Although actual production costs are not publicised, the retail price tags of both FCEVs and FCEBs are well above battery, hybrid and internal combustion vehicles. For example, 12-metre buses produced by European manufacturers for Germany cost roughly between €600,000 and €650,000 compared to around €400,000 for diesel counterparts (int. 9,16). Meanwhile, first-generation FCEVs from Toyota and Hyundai sold in Germany at around €78,500 and €65,500 over the past few years [88
]. This is close to double the price of battery and hybrids. Interviews provided several explanations for these costs. For passenger vehicles, respondents (int. 2,5,8,11) emphasised how limited production volumes are currently preventing economies of scale and ‘positive feedback loops’ that drive rapid learning across industry. Also, automakers tend to balk at the costs of establishing high-speed, automated production lines and the logistical challenges of sourcing, producing and assembling parts, all of which threaten per-unit vehicle profitability (int. 10,11). In addition to fuel cell stacks, hydrogen fuel tanks are another bottleneck. This is principally due to the time and cost required to overcome engineering challenges and satisfy safety testing requirements (int. 4). For buses, although production costs were also cited as a barrier (int. 6,16), costs are decreasing rapidly and expected to continue falling (int. 9). For example, one European manufacturer could purportedly produce 12-metre buses at €450,000 each in a 1000-unit run (int. 9).
The second important barrier concerns the current or expected future supply of vehicles (Q1). Most experts judging this as a ‘strong barrier’ did so in relation to the FCEV market (see Figure 2
). Numerous interviews supported this view (int. 1,4,5,6,9–14). At the time of writing, only two FCEVs are available for purchase in Germany—both from Asian automakers (i.e., Toyota from Japan and Hyundai from Korea). While both these automakers have committed to upscaling production, it is not certain that sales would be directed towards Germany where Asian brands lack a market share and delivery priorities are higher for home markets and California (int. 8). For German makers, Daimler once produced a limited volume of F-Cells.
Yet production has since ceased, and ambitions to commercialise fuel cell powertrains have shifted towards trucks (and buses) through a joint venture with Volvo (int. 11) [89
]. Meanwhile, the technological focus of other passenger vehicle makers once active in fuel cell development like Volkswagen has shifted to batteries. With no FCEV currently produced on home soil, this situation counters the historical expectations in industry and government that several domestic brands such as Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and BMW would enter the market with significant production volumes [33
]. Hopes for the emergence of locally produced FCEVs now hinge on the fruition of announcements by BMW for an SUV model in 2022 and rumours of the imminent production of a currently ‘on the desk’ model by Audi (int. 2,3,9). Regarding the hesitance of German automakers to enter the FCEV market, interviews (int. 2,11) underscored financial pressures on business models. These stresses have necessitated the selection of one zero-emission technology, breaking with historical trends to develop fuel cells and batteries in parallel. As one industry stakeholder (int. 2) explained: ‘(W)e have been discussing having two alternatives and burning money in R&D in both ways, knowing that, you know, one horse is faster than the other and that we probably put too much money on the second.’ Beside R&D costs, the choice of batteries over fuel cells is influenced by numerous other factors including: (i) immense capital required to set up new production lines for either technology, (ii) time required to secure part supply chains for FCEVs, (iii) lower technological complexity in battery drivetrains, and (iv) fewer restrictions imposed by infrastructure availability for BEVs (int. 2,5,6,9,11). One automaker (int. 11) argued it would cost ‘a billion euros’ to enter into serial production for FCEVs. ‘We have these two technologies, battery electric and fuel cell electric’, they explained. ‘And from our perspective, at the moment, the battery electric car is more advanced (...) So why spend another billion if we still haven’t done our homework on electric cars’?
In the case of the bus market, however, multiple interviews (int. 7,8,12,16) and survey responses (Figure 2
) positively evaluated the supply situation. This view reflects the willingness of several bus makers to invest in both fuel cells and batteries when building zero-emission portfolios. Supply is also driven by environmental regulations for bus fleets (discussed above) and demand for FCEBs from German and European cities based on an appreciation for longer driving ranges and suitability for tougher geographical conditions.
Yet the bus market is also grappling with supply challenges. Once again, although German makers like Mercedes Benz and Man previously produced limited runs of fuel cell buses, production activity has ceased. Again, this indicates a shift towards batteries (int. 16) within German and European manufacturers [32
]. The immediate supply of buses now depends on the production volumes of European makers balancing fuel cell and battery portfolios such as Solares in Poland, Van Hool in Belgium and Caetano in Portugal. Due to this limited pool of suppliers, cities across Germany wishing to procure new FCEBs must frequently contend with long waiting times between orders and delivery, often between 12 to 18 months (int. 9) [32
The third barrier emphasised in surveys concerns the availability of repair and maintenance personnel for vehicles (Q6). Although several interview respondents (int. 7,8,10) did not regard this as significant relative to other barriers, others (int. 6,13,16) along with documentation [90
] stressed this issue regarding buses. This challenge encompasses two dimensions. One is that bus manufacturers are expected to ensure the availability of service networks and spare parts despite the limited volumes in circulation. This expectation stems from historical challenges for bus operating agencies to source new components and repairs for new vehicles (int. 7,17) [91
]. The other challenge is that transit agencies and automakers share a need to retrain maintenance staff and upgrade depot workshops that have historically specialised in diesel engines (int. 16,17) [32
With the exception of government and industry support for the construction and operation of hydrogen refuelling stations (Q12), six of the seven factors examined in the infrastructure category were reported in the expert survey as considerable barriers for both the passenger vehicle and bus market.
The principal barrier emphasised for passenger vehicles concerns the profitability of hydrogen refuelling stations (Q10) (statistically significant difference at p
-value 0.002). With some 90 stations currently operating and a further 16 under development [93
], Germany’s refuelling network (consisting mostly of retrofitted gasoline stations) will reach the goal of 100 stations during 2021. Although this refuelling network could in theory support a fleet of 40,000 vehicles (int. 4), in January 2021 there were only 1016 FCEVs in circulation [31
]. Translating to a miniscule 11 vehicles per refuelling station, the ratio of vehicles to stations is insufficient to attain the annual sales target of 25 tonnes of hydrogen per station to ‘build a business case’ (int. 4). Although the current situation of underutilised infrastructure does not contradict the strategy of rolling out refuelling stations ahead of vehicles [33
], industry consultants, fuel suppliers and automakers provided gloomy descriptions of prospects for profitability. These included: ‘a nightmare’ (int. 1), ‘totally pointless’ (int. 2), ‘far from making a business case’ (int. 12) and ‘some stations are just standing there’ and are little more than ‘cash burning machines’ (int. 4).
The business case for buses, however, is considerably more positive. Refuelling infrastructure investments in this market can anticipate a larger and steadier volume of fuel throughput due to the fixed refuelling patterns of transit fleets (int. 3,15). Also, if viewed on a per bus basis, the capital cost of installing hydrogen refuelling stations relative to battery chargers drops for large fleet introductions when factoring in electrical grid upgrade expenses. Learning from these experiences, station developers are now working to integrate refuelling dispensers for buses (and possibly trucks) into newer projects intended for passenger vehicles (int. 1,3,12).
The second barrier concerns the cost of building hydrogen refuelling stations (Q8). Again, this obstacle was reported as stronger in the passenger vehicle market (statistically significant difference at p
-value 0.024). Concretely, a typical hydrogen refuelling station for passenger vehicles in Germany (containing two dispensers and a 24-h capacity of 500 kg) is reported to require approximately €1 million (int. 3,17) [94
]. Although government subsidies cover half of this, the financial burden for station developers was nevertheless underscored in interviews (int. 15,17). Relative to buses, the higher construction costs in the passenger vehicle market were reported to occur due to: (i) the complexity of high-pressure 700 bar technology compared to 350 bar for buses, which necessitates expensive compressors and other equipment; (ii) the limited scale of the refuelling market, which reduces opportunities for economies of scale; and (iii) a lack of competition between station builders. This last issue stems from the guaranteed number of construction opportunities for the energy suppliers participating in the H2 Mobility partnership (established in 2014), currently charged with building and managing the national refuelling network. As one industry respondent (int. 15) explained: ‘…because they have almost guaranteed offtake for a number of stations, there’s no real competition […] You can buy the same station outside of Germany, for cheaper than you would have to pay within Germany’.
The third important barrier for the FCEV market pertains to the availability of refuelling stations (Q7). Although the mean score and number of ‘strong barrier’ responses for this factor is roughly comparable to the cost of hydrogen fuel (Q9), interview respondents were particularly vocal about the negative effect of limited station availability for passenger vehicles. Although Germany’s national network will soon reach the impressive 100 station milestone (a number second only to Japan if viewed globally), multiple respondents considered even this degree of coverage a restricting factor. One survey respondent (#6) argued that the present network is ‘sufficient for fuel cell vehicle enthusiasts, yet too scarce for regular people’. Interview respondents (int. 3,17) also drew attention to coverage gaps in the downtown areas of large metropoles like Munich (due to the concentration on periphery and autobahn locations) and weak interconnectivity between cities. The H2 Mobility alliance has a political mandate to develop up to 400 stations depending on vehicle demand. However, the snail-paced growth of passenger vehicle numbers is expected to dampen ambitions to expand the refuelling network beyond the initial commitment to 100 stations (int. 8). The attractiveness of Germany’s refuelling network for FCEV drivers may thus remain limited in coming years. ‘We have done our job’ stated one respondent working on refuelling infrastructure (int. 4). ‘Now somebody else [e.g., automakers] has to come around and show us that they are committed to hydrogen.’ Additionally, some respondents (int. 3,4) stressed the need for further investments in building a European network to facilitate the cross-border travel behaviour of passenger vehicle users. One fuel supplier (int. 3) described the limitations of the present network as follows: ‘You can travel around Germany. But the problem in Germany is that we are not an “island” like Japan or California […] People living in Germany want to go to Italy, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland. But as of today, the network stops at the border’.
The only factor reported to be driving the market was the degree of support from government and industry for constructing or operating refuelling stations (Q12). In the passenger vehicle market, the H2 Mobility partnership distributes government subsidies to reduce the investment burden for developers during construction by up to 50%. For bus fleets in public transit agencies, a considerably higher degree of support is available. One actor (int. 9) reported that up to 90% of capital expenditures for refuelling station installation could be covered by assembling different government funding contributions from German and European agencies. Despite the positive evaluations of government support for construction costs, several respondents in surveys (#24,25) and interviews (int. 3) stressed the lack of assistance for operating expenses as a major hurdle. Although the public subsidies available through H2 Mobility reduce capital outlay requirements, the absence of financial support for operation places ‘high pressure’ on investors, reducing the likelihood of market-lead investments in refuelling infrastructure (int. 3 and surveys #10,25).
Of three factors examined on the demand-side, the responses regarding the availability and attractiveness of government or industry incentives for purchasing FCEVs and FCEBs (Q14) indicate a judgement that, overall, the current situation is driving market growth. In the case of the remaining two factors, demand was reported as a stronger barrier for passenger vehicles (Q15).
The survey responses to Q14 appraised incentives for vehicle purchases as a considerably stronger driver for buses (statistically significant difference at p
-value 0.004). Since 2021, up to 80% of the price difference between a fuel cell and conventional diesel bus is reimbursed to public bus operators purchasing vehicles from various ministries in Germany. Furthermore, in some cases operators can obtain the remaining 20% gap from local government agencies (int. 17). Government subsidies are particularly important drivers of vehicle demand since, without such support, public transit agencies could not afford the higher costs of fuel cell buses relative to batteries and diesel (12-m buses produced in Europe sell in Germany between €600,000 to €650,000 compared to around €400,000 for diesel counterparts). At the same time, however, adverse effects of public subsidies were reported. Concretely, two respondents working with fuel cell bus fleets (int. 9,16) contended that price ceilings of €650,000 and €625,000 in the ongoing European JIVE
and JIVE 2
programmes (launched in early 2017 and 2018 respectively [90
]) have reduced the motivation for bus makers to cut production costs. While acknowledging the need for subsidies to lower financial barriers to FCEB procurement in public transit agencies, these respondents stressed the eventual need to reduce funding amounts. Under the current scheme, argued one respondent (int. 16), bus manufacturers ‘see no necessity to reduce prices because, for the owner or the customer, it’s the same price at the end. The rest is funding money. I think when we reduce funding money, the [retail] price [of FCEBs] will decrease in a fast way’.
Incidentally, the lower driving effect of incentives for FCEVs reported in survey results appears to reflect the lower availability of cash incentives for the passenger vehicle market. Corporate fleets purchasing more than three vehicles can receive up to 40% of the price difference between a fuel cell and conventional vehicle (raised to 80% in January 2021), while also reaping significant tax reductions due to the high purchase cost (int. 12,13). Yet financial incentives are much lower for individual buyers. Concretely, since 2016 the ‘Environmental Bonus’ scheme has provided subsidies (with contributions from both the federal government and automakers) to individual owners to reduce the retail price of ZEV and hybrid vehicles. In 2020, this scheme was reinforced to provide €7500 for ZEVs up to a purchase cost of €65,500 [95
]. However, by granting higher subsidies of €9000 to vehicles priced under €40,000 in the goal of stimulating affordable
rather than premium ZEV production, FCEVs are disadvantaged compared to batteries and plug-in hybrids by their higher sales price (int. 2). Moreover, the high cost of Toyota’s first-generation Mirai
(priced at €79,000 [88
]) made it ineligible for this subsidy until release of the second model in 2021.
In the case of barriers, the most important issue relates to the lack of public demand for vehicles (Q15). Although not statistically different in the survey results, interviews conveyed this barrier as higher for the FCEV market. Concretely, the main issue concerns the lack of vehicle demand outside of corporate fleets. While publicly figures are not available, one industry consultant estimated the ownership profile of on-road FCEVs as ‘around 80% for companies and only maybe 20% for private owners’ (int. 16). Another consultant (int. 2) concurred by arguing: ‘Honestly, I cannot remember seeing one private fuel cell car in Germany; and I have an eye for it’. Interestingly, despite the lack of FCEV purchases by individual owners, several interviews (int. 2,5,11,15) and survey respondents (#10,23,25) agreed that a non-negligible degree of appreciation and demand for FCEVs exists in the public sphere; largely by virtue of their suitability for long distances and high-load driving. Yet such positive views were countered by pessimistic accounts (int. 2,5,6,11,13,16). These respondents claimed that vehicle demand and public support for fuel cell mobility are vastly inferior to BEVs due to numerous, interlinked obstacles such as: (i) the high price of imported Asian FCEVs relative to competing options such as Tesla’s, other BEVs and locally produced luxury vehicles; (ii) limited infrastructure availability; (iii) lower energy efficiency in hydrogen pathways relative to batteries; (iv) rapidly improving driving ranges and charging times of BEVs; (v) scepticism and criticism of fuel cell mobility in popular media, and importantly; (vi) the lack of models from German manufacturers. Regarding this last point, a respondent (int. 9) argued: ‘Germans, in general, prefer to buy German brands. Toyota and Hyundai have a very low market share here in Germany with conventional passenger cars.’ As another respondent (int. 13) explained, the lack of homegrown models has implications for public awareness, since the German media ‘would be more likely to report on fuel cell vehicles if it was made from a German manufacturer’.
4.4. Cross-Cutting Institutional Issues
The most striking finding in the fourth category is the overall sentiment of experts that institutional issues are not significantly hampering the development of Germany’s hydrogen mobility market. While the existence of two market barriers—namely, standards and regulations (Q18) and knowledge sharing networks (Q19)—was acknowledged, these were principally scored in survey responses as ‘moderate’ rather than ‘strong’ (Figure 2
). Conversely, the mean scores for political support and policy signals (Q17) along with stakeholder partnerships and coalitions (Q20) indicate that, overall, these factors are positively influencing market development.
In the case of drivers and the specific issue of political support (Q17), survey results indicate an overwhelming consensus that policy signals from both German and European governments (as reflected in political statements, diffusion targets, policy documents etc.) are propelling the market. Interviews accounts concurred with this judgement. Some respondents emphasised the driving force of climate/energy policy and related technology and public spending budgets at the European level (int. 1,6,8). Relevant policies and technology forcing signals include the commitment to climate neutrality by 2050, the European Green Deal
] hatched out in 2019 (which places heavy emphasis on green hydrogen in industry), and the EU Hydrogen Strategy
unveiled in 2020 [98
]. One industry consultant (int. 1) described this driving effect as follows:
‘…right now, hydrogen is a megatrend in Germany. But it’s not maybe only in Germany, but in Europe […] Within the last year, it was like the topic went not to the top, but through the top. And it was like, we have an extremely, extremely strong push from the politics side in every direction. And so, this is also a definitive force accelerated by the corona [virus] situation.’
Industry respondents also underscored the driving force of policies within Germany. The National Hydrogen Strategy
] was frequently mentioned (int. 8,12). Launched in 2020, this is underpinned by a €9 billion budget, of which €2 billion is for mobility. Interestingly, one industry respondent (int. 2) drew attention to another indicator of national government support for hydrogen—the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. Although the recent focus of this agency is purported to be on battery mobility, this respondent argued that this organisation’s name itself indicates the historical enthusiasm in German politics for fuel cell mobility over batteries.
Despite these positive accounts, survey responses indicate a sentiment among experts that political support is considerably stronger for buses than for passenger vehicles (statistically significant difference at p
-value 0.003). With this bias is somewhat discernible in the National Hydrogen Strategy
], numerous interviews with automakers, fuel suppliers, consultants and academia (int. 4,6,9–12,16,19) echoed the sentiment that political support for fuel cell passenger vehicles has waned and shifted towards heavy-duty applications—and most notably trucks
, where the comparative advantage of fuel cells is more evident. Some claimed that government policy has been influenced by the technology selection strategies and politically powerful, pro-battery discourse of automakers. Volkswagen, for example, has abandoned its fuel cell development activities and publicly denounced their low energy efficiency while promoting batteries [99
]. Some respondents described ‘disappointment’ (int. 10) in industry and politics that German automakers are not currently producing passenger FCEVs. Such views, however, acknowledged the many financial pressures and technological barriers influencing the recent focus on batteries (see Section 4.1
). Interviews also suggested a correlation between the degree of commitment to fuel cells in the automotive industry and support in political circles. As one automaker (int. 10) explained: ‘political willingness drops more quickly if no European, especially if no German
car manufacturer [emphasis added] is offering such vehicles on the market, because the German government has difficulty sometimes to argue why they spend so much funding money for car manufacturers not producing locally’. Another industry respondent (int. 11) concurred by stating: ‘What governments always request from us is “When will you bring a car to the market? We don’t want to ride in Japanese or Korean Asian cars with fuel cell technology. We want to have German
-made cars” [emphasis added].’
Regarding stakeholder partnerships and coalitions (Q20), interview accounts (int. 1,8,13) supported the judgement of survey respondents that joint actions (e.g., business ventures, research, advocacy and lobbying etc.) by industry alliances and other stakeholder networks are driving rather than hampering the market. Indeed, industry alliances in Germany are both well-organised and plentiful and include H2 Mobility, the Clean Energy Partnership and the German Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Association.
As for the effect of knowledge sharing activities amongst stakeholders (Q19), this was positively appraised in surveys and interviews. Yet several respondents (int. 9,14,16) working with FCEB fleets argued that efforts to share knowledge and experiences around vehicle and infrastructure operation, business models and so forth are more visible than in the FCEV market. This may be explained by the willingness of public transit agencies—presumably due to their status as publicly funded agencies—to actively share information with other stakeholders in Germany and Europe through workshops, conferences and publications etc. Conversely, in the passenger vehicle market, given that many adopters are private companies purchasing a limited number of vehicles, the motivation to learn from peers appears weaker.
In the case of barriers, the distribution of responses shown in Figure 2
reveals that many experts deem that market obstacles of an institutional nature do exist, even if only ‘moderate’. Interviews support this observation, echoing the view that standardisation issues (Q18) are posing a significant challenge to the bus market. The first issue stressed by industry (int. 4,7,9,17) regards the emergence of so-called ‘type IV’ tanks in new buses and two problems prompted by this: (i) incompatibility with existing refuelling infrastructure, and (ii) increased economic burdens on refuelling station owners to upgrade equipment. In contrast to the superseded and steel-lined ‘type III’ variety contained in older buses, new type IV tanks are unable to cope with higher temperatures during refuelling and require pre-cooled hydrogen due to their plastic inner liner. With Germany’s fleet of eight bus refuelling stations lacking pre-cooling equipment, one of two countermeasures is required, and possibly both (int. 9,14): (i) expensive upgrades to install pre-cooling equipment in existing and future locations wishing to service newer buses; (ii) a dispenser-to-vehicle communication protocol to avoid higher temperatures by adjusting refuelling speeds. A second standardisation issue concerns the pressure chosen for refuelling. While the bus market in Europe has adopted a standard of 350 bar and built infrastructure for this, multiple concerns were voiced (int. 2,3,5,14) that this might not be compatible with the future technological configuration of fuel cell trucks. For example, while Hyundai has chosen 350 bar pressure for its XCIENT
truck, Japanese makers like Toyota and Hino are promoting higher pressure 700 bar to assure longer driving ranges and shorter refuelling times. Meanwhile, in developing its GenH2
truck, Daimler has announced a commitment to liquid hydrogen, capable of even longer driving ranges. Germany and Europe are thus grappling with the difficult decision of choosing a uniform refuelling pressure and method (gaseous or liquified) for the truck market. This must balance the competing interests of refuelling station operators and automakers while, ideally, assuring some degree of compatibility with existing refuelling infrastructure.