Periodic Reporting for period 3 - H2ME 2 (Hydrogen Mobility Europe 2)
Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-06-30
H2ME 2 is the natural successor to the ongoing Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME 1) project (2014 FCH JU call), sharing 20 out of 38 partners in total. H2ME 2 again brings together the national initiatives leading in the push to commercialise hydrogen technology (original members - Germany, France, UK, Scandinavia, new member – Netherlands). Taken in conjunction, the H2ME 1 & 2 projects are the most ambitious coordinated hydrogen deployment project attempted globally.
The increased scale of this deployment under H2ME 2 will allow the consortium to:
• Deploy over 1100 new hydrogen fuelled vehicles across a range of platforms, with increased participation from European car manufacturers allowing for an increased choice of vehicles – trebling the existing fuel cell fleet in Europe. Almost 800 of these will be range extended electric vans, supporting a major roll-out of this technology.
• Test 20 new HRS rigorously at high level of utilisation (average 20% of daily fuelling capacity, with some exceeding 50%) using the large vehicle deployment. This will test the HRS to a much greater extent than has been possible in previous projects.
• Establish the conditions for the hydrogen mobility sector to support the wider European energy system via electrolytic hydrogen production, by deploying and analysing 11 electrolyser-HRS. H2ME 2 will demonstrate the acquisition of real revenues from provision of energy services for aggregated electrolyser-HRS systems at MW scale in both the UK and France.
• Provide the evidence base that a wide range of vehicles and the associated low carbon fuelling architecture is technically and commercially ready for widespread market introduction.
• Progress was made regarding infrastructure deployment, with 6 HRS commissioned in Period 3 and 8 HRS in operation in total. HRS are now in operation in Nantes (FR), Paris Nord (FR), Reykjavik (IS), Keflavik (IS), Miklabraut (IS), and Swindon (UK), in addition to the HRS in Versailles (FR) and Mariestad (SW) deployed in Period 2.
• There have also been positive developments across other HRS in Period 3, with civil works starting in Lyon (FR) and The Hague (NL), and permits now obtained in London (UK).
• All 10 Honda Clarity vehicles continued operation throughout Period 3, contributing to the project data collection exercise. Symbio have deployed an additional 22 vehicles, with 69 operational in total, and prepared the necessary strategy for large-scale deployment in future periods.
• Vehicle procurement as part of the project has progressed, with 21 Alphabet vehicles in operation in Germany, 17 vehicles deployed by INE in Iceland, 2 vehicles deployed by Nel in Denmark, 1 vehicle deployed by Kerkhof in The Netherlands, and an additional 18 STEP vehicles being deployed into taxi fleet operation in Paris.
• 2nd technical data set delivered and analysed.
• Harmonisation with the H2ME 1 project has allowed for the sharing of knowledge and best practices between partners. In total, across H2ME and H2ME 2, 503 vehicles are in regular operation and 31 state-of-the-art HRS are dispensing hydrogen fuel. To date, these 31 HRS have dispensed 55,100kg of hydrogen in 25,479 refuelling events since March 2016.
Key findings during the 3rd period of the project include:
• The permitting process for infrastructure remains the main cause of delays for deployment. For France in particular, new national ICPE regulation since 2018 has compounded this issue, extending the administrative process to over 12 months in many cases. Evolving and unclear Regulations, Codes and Standards remain a significant issue. Despite these issues, many partners and coalitions have developed approaches to limit these delays, such as:
o Engaging closely with the permitting authorities early in the process.
o Requesting permits for a number of potential sites in parallel.
o Developing guidance on the HRS permitting procedure, and recommendations on obtaining support from the relevant authorities.
• There has been continued success in the roll-out of FCEVs for private fleets (e.g. taxi operation, vehicle leasing companies), and for heavy-duty vehicles. These operations are shown to have a more favourable business case, with high-utilisation and operational flexibility stimulating demand.
• The data collection exercise has highlighted a number of key case studies, combining uses in particular locations with the available HRS. For example, it was found that driving and refuelling patterns and distance driven can vary significantly by location.
• The majority of fleet operators and drivers have reported positive overall experiences with FCEVs, based on the vehicle performance and refuelling time meeting the operational needs. A need for improvement was identified regarding the purchase price, the number of models available, and in some cases restrictions on underground parking.
• Some fleet operators and drivers have reported dissatisfaction with the limited number of HRS, reflecting the early stage of the commercial roll-out. Although many users have expressed that HRS reliability requires improvement, some fleet operators have noticed steady improvements to the reliability of stations over time, particularly after the initial teething phase.
Key next steps are:
• Continue deployment activities and associated gathering of data for H2ME 2 with an additional 12 HRS commissioned and another ~ 935 vehicles to be trialled before the end of the project.
• Implementation of a development strategy to increase the number of HRS from 18 to at least 20. This strategy is being formalised as part of an ongoing amendment.
• Implementation of the mitigation strategy based on go/no-go milestones introduced following the third review of the project.
• Develop further the analysis of HRS and vehicle performance data, customer value proposition and commercial issues. Ensure that data capture from all fleets is being undertaken and develop detailed analysis for different types of operators and users.
• Continue the preparations for real-world demonstrations for electrolysers in grid operation, and initiate testing.
• Continue sharing results of the project by undertaking additional project roundtables to improve outreach to key stakeholders and politicians, developing further the emerging conclusions of the project to provide key messages and evidence supporting the case for FCEVs and the HRS network for a number of applications; and continue to present the project at conferences at a national and European level.