First hydrogen car-sharing program starts in Germany
Wed 4 May 2016
Linde, one of the largest industrial gases and engineering companies in the world, is launching the world’s first car-sharing service for hydrogen cars. BeeZero will be available to residents of Munich summer 2016.
Hydrogen cars have been slow to take hold with the environmentally-conscious car consumer because of the difficulty of finding a hydrogen filling station. Linde hopes that with BeeZero, consumers will start thinking differently about hydrogen cars once they experience it for themselves.
Sandra Scherb, general manager of BeeZero, said, “This is an amazing technology, but it’s not developing as fast you would hope. We can’t wait for someone else to develop it. We have to take the lead and do it ourselves.”
Linde is part of H2 Mobility, a cross-sector joint venture of six industrial companies who are committed to nationwide expansion of hydrogen filling stations across Germany. Along with Air Liquide, Daimler, OMV, Shell and Total, Linde and H2 Mobility plan to expand the hydrogen refueling stations to 400 by 2023. In addition to combining two mobility trends of the moment: zero emissions and car sharing, Linde will also gather information that they can use to help plan the future of providing hydrogen to the consumer market.
BeeZero falls under a newly-created subsidiary of Linde, Linde Hydrogen Products. It will use Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell cars, which are built using green production methods and sustainable resources and are zero emission vehicles. The only waste the vehicles produce is water ‘so clean you could drink it.’
Hydrogen cell cars also have a range of about 400 km on a full tank, almost four times that of a comparable electric car. Additionally, hydrogen cars are faster to refill (only 5 minutes at a hydrogen filling station) compared to electric cars, which can take hours to fully recharge.
Thomas A. Schmid, COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, said, “The new BeeZero is pioneering sustainable mobility. (It) will not only be the first car sharing service using hydrogen powered zero-emission cars, but will also offer comfortable and reliable transportation for the public’s everyday needs.”
The fleet of 50 hydrogen vehicles will be available in Munich this summer, and vehicles can be easily accessed using a smartphone app.