23 May 2024, 14:41
Jack McGovan

Automotive industry calls on German government to expand hydrogen infrastructure


The head of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Hildegard Müller, has called on the government to expand hydrogen infrastructure for heavy duty vehicles, business daily Handelsblatt reported. Pressure to change has been weighing on the industry given its high carbon emissions in Germany, which on an average day has about 800,000 trucks on the road, most of them diesel. Primarily, the industry has been relying on batteries to transition away from fossil fuels, but the car industry lobby group said hydrogen fuelled vehicles could play a vital role in decarbonising the sector. “Hydrogen can be produced cleanly from renewable energies and can be stored in large quantities,” she said.

One advantage of hydrogen is the shorter refuelling time compared to electric vehicles. Similarly, hydrogen fuel cells offer longer range, an important aspect for freight vehicles. Müller is calling for around 300 hydrogen filling stations suitable for trucks in Europe by 2025, of which 85 should be in Germany. To support the automotive industry in the move away from fossil fuels, the EU wants a third of all newly registered trucks to be powered electrically or by a fuel cell by 2030. In addition, the toll for diesel-powered trucks will be increased significantly in Germany.

In comparison to predictions a year earlier, an expert council recently raised Germany’s expected hydrogen demand by 68 percent by 2030. Last month, parliament gave the green light for the construction of a 9,700 kilometre pipeline network to transport hydrogen across the country. Green hydrogen made with renewable energy is regarded as a scarce resource that is expected to be primarily used in back-up power plants to sustain the electricity system at times of renewables output, in aviation or in industry processes that are difficult to electrify. Heating and transport, on the other hand, have a wide range of options to decarbonise besides using hydrogen.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee