The Linde Group has revealed that it has joined a number of leading industrial companies in signing up for the adoption of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.

This week saw a collective of major companies commit to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Berlin, with the participation of the German Minister of Transport, Wolfgang Tiefensee.

The agreement triggers the evaluation of the set-up of a hydrogen infrastructure in Germany, so as to promote serial production of electric vehicles with fuel cells. It also marks a major step towards the commercialisation of such locally emission-free vehicles.

The partners of the H2 Mobility initiative are Linde, Daimler, EnBW, OMV, Shell, Total, Vattenfall and the NOW GmbH National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. Co-operation is also open for further partners interested in the project.

The initiative hopes to see the significant expansion of the hydrogen fuelling stations network by the end of 2011.

In recent years significant progress has been made in Germany with the development of hydrogen-based technologies in the mobility sector, identifying the country as a potential start-market in the context of a broader European perspective.

Nationwide roll-out
The MoU comprises two phases. Phase One includes the evaluation of options for an area-wide roll-out of hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany and the definition of a joint business plan agreement.

Subject to the positive and satisfactory outcome of such an agreement, the partners will implement the corresponding action plan in Phase Two. The nation-wide roll-out of hydrogen fuelling stations will be continued, supporting the introduction of a series of hydrogen powered vehicles in Germany around 2015.

Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG, said in a statement, “Our jointly expressed commitment to hydrogen-based mobility sets the course for a low-emission and environmentally friendly future.”

“We see ourselves as pioneers in the field of hydrogen technology and will do everything we can to live up to our aspirations with our accomplishments in the areas of hydrogen production, storage, distribution and fuelling technology.”