A second, pan-European hydrogen (H2) infrastructure deployment scheme has just been announced, officially establishing the largest EU funded project for H2 mobility and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) deployment.

The €100m ($112.6m) H2ME 2 scheme has received an additional grant of €35m ($39.4m) from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public-private partnership supporting fuel cell and H2 energy technologies, and aims to significantly expand the European fleet of H2-powered vehicles.

H2ME 2 builds upon H2ME 1, which was originally announced in September 2015 and developed plans for the rollout of 300 FCEVs and 29 refuelling stations.

The second edition of the H2ME project H2ME 2 will span six years, bringing together the industry know-how of 37 project partners. The new initiative will deploy and operate 1,230 FCEVs and will establish a further 20 H2 refuelling stations throughout the continent.



A special dispenser fills the vehicle with hydrogen. Photo courtesy of Linde.

Fundamentally, the H2ME 2 project seeks to confirm the commercial viability of FCVs, fuelling stations and H2 production techniques across Europe, as well as identifying any gaps that may prevent commercialisation and consolidating future investments.

Along with project leader, Element Energy, partner companies include: Air Liquide Advanced Technologies, AREVA H2Gen, BOC, H2 Logic, ITM Power, Linde AG and McPhy Energy. As such, the multi-partner and multi-country project will unite corporations from France, Germany, Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands, amongst others.

Ben Madden, Director of Element Energy and Project Coordinator for both H2ME 1 and H2ME 2, outlined, “Today marks a significant day in the future of European transport. Our aim has been to help bring the key businesses and public bodies investing in H2 mobility together to work on the common goal of making H2-fuelled transport a reality in Europe.”

UK-based ITM Power has been selected as the lead partner for all UK activities within H2ME 2 and will receive €5.06m ($5.7m) in order to deploy three new dual pressure H2 refuelling station assets to expand the infrastructure in the UK. 

Dr. Rachel Smith, Executive Director at ITM Power, signified, “We are very excited about the role the project will play in deploying H2 refuelling infrastructure, passenger and commercial FCVs in the UK and demonstrating the system benefits generated by using electrolytic H2 solutions in UK grid operations.” 

The H2ME project is supported by FCH JU with funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 programme.