Czechs begin to restrain hydrogen

Published: 03.07.2019 Related countries:  Korea (south) Korea (south)

The first four public filling stations will be built in Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Záluží u Litvínova.

Those who are interested in eco-friendly transport technology will open the way to another technology replacing conventional combustion engines next year.

During the first quarter, the first four hydrogen filling stations will be created and, together with this, manufacturers will launch the sale of hydrogen cars in the Czech Republic.

The first stands for hydrogen replenishment to the public will be in Litvínov, Prague, Brno and Ostrava. Their construction was supported by the Ministry of Transport subsidies of 150 million crowns, said Jan Bezděkovský, a deputy of the Minister of Transport for Clean Mobility. Selected projects represent the start of building a network that should have twelve to fifteen publicly accessible stations in 2025, and after five years, there should ideally be 80 stations in the Czech Republic, where owners can recharge hydrogen cars.

Currently the closest stations are in Záluží near Litvínov and in Ostrava's Hranečník terminal. It is being built by the Ostrava-based transport company for about 70 million crowns, but it should be open to other carriers as well as to future owners of passenger cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. "The capacity should be for thirty buses to be used in the future by carriers operating on suburban lines," said Daniel Morys, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ostrava Public Transport Company. The remaining three stations will be built with state support by Benzina. Every day, 30 to 60 cars could use each of them. Stands with separate hoses for filling cars and buses will have a capacity of 150 to 300 kilograms of compressed hydrogen. The passenger car tank holds five kilograms of fuel (about 500 km range) and a seven-fold bus tank, said Jiří Hájek, Director of Unipetrol Education and Innovation Center.

Slippage against Europe and electricity

While there are dozens of stations in Germany, which is a hydrogen in Europe, there is only one in the Czech Republic since 2009. It is run by the Research Institute of Nuclear Research in Řež in Neratovice. It is not a station open to the public. Originally it was used for refueling of a bus running on the city line in Neratovice, after the completion of this project it works purely as a test, ”said Petr Lamač, Head of the Commercial Department of the Nuclear Research Institute.

Missing hydrogen stations are already complicating the life of automotive companies. “We had an offer to test a hydrogen car, but we had to refuse it. There is no place to refuel in the Czech Republic, ”said Václav Mach, head of the Pilsen prototype center Akka.

First it must be where to refuel

For the same reason, hydrogen cars cannot be settled in the garages of more affluent Czechs. The first step to using hydrogen as an alternative to battery electric vehicles must be to build at least a basic filling station network. Only this will allow the gradual expansion of technology to ordinary drivers.

"We are promised from Hyundai and Toyota manufacturers that hydrogen cars will be launched on the Czech market when filling stations are created," Bezdekovsky added. This is confirmed by the spokesman of the Czech Toyota agency, Jitka Jechová. According to her, at the moment of opening the first filling stations, dealers will start offering the Mirai hydrogen model.

In total, the Ministry of Transport expects roughly a quarter of a billion crowns to support the establishment of a basic hydrogen filling station network. The first call, which results in the aforementioned four stations this spring, was supplemented by another subsidy call in which another one hundred million crowns is prepared for investors. Of these, up to 85 percent of their construction costs can be paid.

According to a ministerial study, Czech roads could travel up to twelve and a half thousand hydrogen-powered passenger cars and another 700 buses if at least 12 public filling stations could be built. Apart from the lack of infrastructure, the massive expansion of hydrogen cars is largely prevented by the high price - which is even higher than that of conventional electric vehicles. For example, the price of the above-mentioned Toyota Mirai is about two million crowns. Within ten years - with the advent of the third generation hydrogen model - the Japanese automaker promises to compare prices to hybrid cars. They should therefore be available for less than a million crowns.

Source: Mlada Fronta Dnes

Provided by team CzechTrade Seoul