Hydrogen fuelling stations in the US using Linde North America fuelling technology have reached over half million fills – and still climbing.

The stations are powering a variety of vehicles, including forklifts, cars and buses.

One of the major contributors to the half million fill milestone is BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC. From its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, earlier this year the company more than doubled its fleet of material handling equipment fuelled by hydrogen fuelling systems provided by Linde.

The four million square foot BMW production facility now powers its entire hydrogen-fuel cell fleet of more than 230 units to service the plant’s production and logistics functions, making it one of the largest fuel cell forklift sites in the world.

“Hydrogen already is one of the most promising alternative fuels because it is safe, economic and efficient”

Mike Beckman, Vice-President of Linde’s US hydrogen fuelling team, reflected, “We are proud that our customers have displayed the confidence in Linde to supply the hydrogen fuelling systems to reach this important milestone. This proves that our technology can help advance sustainability and lower emissions while also helping to improve the bottom line. Hydrogen already is one of the most promising alternative fuels because it is safe, economic and efficient.”

While Linde hydrogen fuelling systems involve sophisticated technology, the filling operation is designed to be relatively quick and simple – much like putting gasoline into a car today. “The speed and simplicity is a critical aspect to the success of hydrogen as a fuel,” Beckman said.

The lead acid batteries that formerly powered BMW’s lifts and trucks were replaced with hydrogen fuel cells from Latham, New York-based Plug Power, Inc., Linde’s partner in the BMW installation and the leading provider of hydrogen based fuel cells in the material handling market.