pte20121023025 Companies/Finance, Science/Technology
OMV hydrogen fuel station opens for business in Vienna
Building is equipped with latest energy saving technology
Vienna (pte025/23.10.2012/14:02) - Austria joined the hydrogen age this month with the opening of the country's first commercial hydrogen filling station at Shuttleworthstraße in Vienna's 21st district.
Capable of filling fuel cells and other hydrogen fuelled vehicles with gaseous hydrogen, the single-pump facility was opened by OMV Director Dr. Gerhard Roiss and economics Minister Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner.
The petrol station itself was also designed with climate control targets in mind, with an integrated air conditioning and heating system as well as LED lighting and a solar powered car wash. The filling station in the capital's 21st district is a small but significant step on the road to Austria playing a part in the development of a fuel cell vehicle network. A lack of refuelling facilities has previously prevented car makers from offering their vehicles in Austria.
Many automobile companies are currently researching the feasibility of commercially producing hydrogen cars, and some have introduced demonstration models in limited numbers. At the 2012 World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all confirmed plans to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale by 2015, with some types planned to enter the showroom by next year.
A hydrogen vehicle has an engine that converts the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy by either burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors.
Dr Roiss said: "For more than 50 years now we have been used to filling the tank in litres. In future we will fill up in kilos. With four kilogrammes of hydrogen you can drive 400km. The hydrogen age begins today. OMV is now making this emission free fuel of the future available in Austria and is also building a bridge towards helping us reach the European emmission limits needed for our climate control targets."
Minister Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner said there were clear advantages of the technology for Austria. He said: "Technological innovation that will see the growing use of hydrogen will improve the climate situation with regards to traffic pollution and also improve the situation for the automobile sector. There is also enormous potential for business in the development of this technology in particular for Austria. This initiative by the OMV is therefore right not just in terms of its energy provision but also because of its innovation and its advantages to the economy."
Vienna Regional Government President Prof Harry Kopietz said: "The promotion of hydrogen technology is an important step towards sustainability. It is also important for public transport and for improving air quality in built-up areas, and in improving the quality of life."
Daimler's head of research Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler added: "The race towards electro-mobility is probably more a marathon than a sprint - and will be achieved only through many stages. The technology has already proved that it works and now we need to see what resonance it finds with customers which is part of the importance of this step by the OMV in Vienna."