Solar Impulse founder and Chairman Bertrand Piccard launched an ecological revolution on Swiss roads when he opened Avia’s first hydrogen station in St Gallen earlier this month.
This station marked Switzerland’s second public filling station and plans were unveiled for a further six stations on the route between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva by the end of 2020.
The next six stations are planned for St Gallen Rümlang, Hunzenschwil, Zofingen, Berne and Crissier.
Speaking at the opening, Piccard said Switzerland’s private sector has created something that is truly unique.
“Many believed that the hydrogen industry would always remain a utopian vision of the future, but Switzerland is proving that electrically powered commercial vehicles and passenger cars can be refuelled with clean hydrogen and driven without CO2 emissions,” he said.
“In addition to the development of an economically viable sector, this also represents a huge step forward for the environment – with advantages for customers that are quite persuasive.”
“Refuelling takes just a few minutes, the drive system is 100% electric, and the performance and range are great. And instead of harmful exhaust fumes coming out the exhaust pipe, only pure water vapour is emitted.”
“This important moment for the environment was made a reality through the combined expertise of many pioneers who didn’t just talk about possible solutions, but got things done.”
After a pilot period of several years, members of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association and their partners are ramping up the new e-mobility system in the country.
This allows for electrically driven cars and commercial vehicles, powered by green hydrogen, with zero CO2 emissions.
This year will see the first 50 Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell hydrogen-electric commercial vehicles, with a total towing weight of 36 t, hit the roads in Switzerland.
New Swiss e-mobility system
Hydrospider, Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM), the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association and H2 Energy are currently building this carbon-free e-mobility system in the alpine nation.
This is based on a business ecosystem that unites various players in the energy and mobility sector in a joint, private-sector system.
Each element of this cycle, from the energy source and production to the use in the electric vehicle, is completely free of CO2 emissions.
The closed cycle begins with the production of green hydrogen by Hydrospider. The production takes place at a new facility at Alpiq’s Gösgen hydroelectric power plant in the canton of Solothurn.
The hydrogen uses electricity from renewable sources in Switzerland only (water, solar, wind), making it carbon free and environmentally friendly. This is completely green hydrogen produced to the SAE standard J2719.
Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility plans to import up to 1,600 hydrogen-electric trucks by 2025. The first 10 volume-production trucks are on their way to Europe.
The hydrogen supply and the structure of the commercial vehicles, infrastructure, and filling station network are ready for the first 50 Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks.
The 36 t trailer trucks are expected to be on Swiss roads before the end of 2020. These will be made available on a pay-per-use basis to transport and logistics companies distributing goods within Switzerland.
The members of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association are using the vehicles to build the nationwide refuelling infrastructure with 350 bar and 700 bar for commercial vehicles and cars respectively.
The network of filling stations will be expanded over the coming years to supply the growing number of trucks with green hydrogen. The green hydrogen is also being offered under the designation H2 Zero.