Q&A

  1. What is HyFIVE?

    Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFIVE) is an ambitious European project including 15 partners who will deploy 185 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) from the five global automotive companies who are leading in their commercialisation (BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota).

    To serve these vehicles, the project will create clusters of refuelling station networks in three parts of Europe, where there will be sufficient density of hydrogen stations to provide refuelling choice and convenience to early users of FCEVs. Six new stations (Danish Hydrogen Fuel, ITM Power and OMV) will be deployed linking them with 12 existing stations (Air Liquide, Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, the Institute of Innovative Technologies, Linde, OMV and TOTAL).

  2. Why are we doing this?

    There are a number of strategic drivers for change in the transport sector and across the wider economy as a whole. Many countries now have firm carbon emission reduction targets (e.g. the UK has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050), and are seeking to improve energy security by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Emissions from conventional vehicles are also causing significant air quality issues in many locations, particularly in urban areas.

    FCEVs (fuelled by hydrogen, a gas that can be produced from a range of renewable energy sources) have been identified as a promising technology to help achieve these strategic goals with minimal impact on the driver in terms of functionality or convenience.

    This project seeks to place large numbers of vehicles with drivers who will use them for regular day-to-day activities. It will also develop early networks of refuelling stations and thus prepare the market for the commercial introduction of these innovative zero emission vehicles over the coming years.

  3. What is a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)?

    FCEVs use advanced powertrain technology to offer efficient, clean, and quiet mobility. Using hydrogen gas as a fuel for generating electric power, FCEVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions when being driven, only water vapour.

    The system they use is durable and compact and provides consistent performance regardless of the environment or climate, so consumers experience no compromises compared to conventional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.

  4. What will the project achieve?

    HyFIVE is one of Europe’s largest transnational fuel cell passenger car projects. The project’s scale and pan-European breadth will allow it to tackle all of the final technical and social issues which could prevent the commercial roll-out of hydrogen vehicles and refuelling infrastructure across Europe.

    Research tasks will ensure these issues are analysed and that the learning is available for the hydrogen community across Europe.

    Key regions in Europe will move from a demonstration to a market initiation phase through the deployment of advanced FCEVs and development of networks of hydrogen refuelling stations.

  5. How is hydrogen produced?

    Very little of the hydrogen on Earth is in a freely-available form – it is usually present in a compound with other elements. To use the hydrogen, it must be extracted from these compounds. Hydrogen can be produced from existing fuels like oil, petrol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas, or by using electricity (including from renewable sources via the electrolysis of water). Currently the majority of hydrogen comes from natural gas, by steam reforming of the hydrocarbon feedstock to produce synthesis gas (syngas), primarily a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

    As the cost of renewable energy becomes more competitive, hydrogen can be regularly produced from renewable fuels, including biogas. In addition to electrolysis from water, other ways of producing hydrogen could include renewable hydrogen being generated through energy from waste facilities, recovery from biogas and/or biomass and by sourcing it as a by-product from other processes. In the context of hydrogen transport, the industry has recognised the need to move to low carbon sources of hydrogen.

  6. Are FCEVs like petrol and diesel vehicles?

    Yes and No.

    FCEVs look and perform very much like traditional vehicles. The FCEVs currently being prepared for commercialisation also have a driving range comparable to petrol and diesel vehicles, and can be refuelled within a few minutes – i.e. they offer a similar experience to the driver.

    Unlike petrol and diesel vehicles, FCEVs use an electric powertrain, which provides quiet operation and no harmful tailpipe emissions.

  7. Are FCEVs like battery electric vehicles?

    FCEVs offer the same quiet, smooth and refined performance as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). As with all electric vehicles maximum torque is delivered from zero rpm, which makes for very responsive performance when pulling away from standstill. Manufacturer development of fuel cell technology has ensured performance is maintained regardless of the local environment or climate.

    Unlike battery electric vehicles, FCEVs can be refuelled in three minutes. The higher energy density of hydrogen compared to advanced batteries also means that FCEVs can provide greater range than BEVs without significantly adding to the mass of the vehicle.

  8. Who is making these vehicles?

    Several of the world’s leading car manufacturers, including all of those in the HyFIVE project, have been developing hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicles during the past 20 years and have matured the technology to the point where the first production models will be coming to market within the next few years. Their priority will be to introduce vehicles in markets where a strategy is in place to support their use with an appropriate infrastructure for hydrogen fuel supply, distribution and sale.

    Each of the vehicle manufacturers involved in the project will bring forward advanced FCEVs that are either designed for or just starting commercial production. Hyundai will bring a large fleet of their ix35 vehicles which are in series production. Daimler, Honda, and Toyota will all bring their next generation fuel cell vehicles which are targeted at series manufacture and will use the project to validate the performance on European roads and with European customers. BMW will demonstrate their new luxury E/F segment FCEV prototype and test advanced vehicle operation and maintenance strategies.

  9. What other hydrogen transport activities are happening in Europe?

    HyFIVE complements a number of other hydrogen transport projects across Europe. For further information click on the links below:

    Hydrogen London

    UK H2Mobility

    Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME)

    Hydrogen Transport in European Cities (HyTEC)

    Clean Energy Partnership (CEP)

    Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU)

    Clean Hydrogen In European Cities (CHIC)

    Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP)

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