In July 2006, I had talked about how Royal Dutch Shell had planned on rolling out 20 hydrogen powered buses in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In November 2006, I had talked about the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands opening a hydrogen fueling station in Petten.
Well now the Avia petroleum company has unveiled a hydrogen fueling station in Arnhem. Presumably this will be part of the building of the European Hydrogen Highway which is in full gear right now.
According to IB Times, “The gas station also has a small-scale factory for converting the gas into hydrogen, which is stored in compressed form. The hydrogen fuel is fed through a special hose, just like ordinary LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and then converted in energy by means of fuel cell technology in the autos.”
The article goes onto say, “The hydrogen facility has limited capacity, for now. The clients are only local vehicles converted to hydrogen through automotive projects developed by students at the Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) in collaboration with the industry sector.”
These converted vehicles supposedly have huge tanks for the hydrogen often taking up all of the trunk space or backseats of the autos, which is typical of H2 test vehicles built at the high school or college level.
What is needed now is for the top hydrogen auto makers such as Daimler, BMW, GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda to step up and put a few hydrogen autos in this community. What good is a public hydrogen fueling station with only makeshift test vehicles to serve?
But, then again as the European Hydrogen Highway system is being built out, one can expect a temporary uneven distribution of hydrogen fueling stations and H2 vehicles. Hopefully other regions can learn from the European rollout and bring back best practices to their own areas.