As 2018 came to an end, Denmark currently has a total of 84 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) on its roads, according to data gathered on Statistics Denmark, and 10 hydrogen refuelling stations. This has been realised by many FCH JU projects since 2009 along with the TEN-T program since 2012. In April 2018, a report published by Brintbranchen (Hydrogen Denmark)  stated the FCEV distribution in the country; with 62% used by the municipalities whereby the public and private sectors share 18% and 12%, respectively and 8% is owned by households for personal use. The first hydrogen-fuelled cars were deployed in 2013 and mainly used by the municipalities to promote its use.  From the 2000-2017 there has been a slight increase in Co2 emissions by households. However, this is mainly due to the development and use of biomass for district heating and electricity. Hydrogen production as well as FCEVs will play an important role for CO2 reduction of households as it can cover large parts of the balancing needs in Denmark through renewable energy sources such as wind turbines.

In 2017, a new taxi company was founded when the largest taxi firm in Denmark, TAXA 4X45, and an app development company joined in creating a new and innovative company called “DRIVR where the customers can download the app, order and track their ride. The vehicles are environmentally friendly with over 75% are green. These consists mainly of electric cars (including hybrids). It currently has three types of Toyota vehicles in service which can be selected through the app; Toyota Prius, Toyota Rav4 and Toyota Mirai. The company strives to operate 100% green by the year 2021. The first introduction of a 100% hydrogen-powered taxi company was located in central Paris by the French start-up company STEP (Société du Taxi Electrique Parisien) in December 2015 during COP21. The hydrogen-fuelled taxi fleet going by the name “Hype” was launched in partnership with Air Liquide and currently has a fleet of 100 hydrogen-fuelled taxies with the ambition to have 600 by 2020. With these new developments it is important to observe the allocations of the hydrogen refuelling stations in these regions as it can play a crucial role to analyse how well the infrastructure and vehicles perform. The distribution of the 10 refuelling stations insures that 50% of population is within 15 km to nearest station.

In recent months, the Danish government has set out a new climate and air policy in October 2018 “Together for a Greener Future”. As the transport sector has a significant contribution to CO2 emissions, a green transition is required. The policy will take a closer look at buses, as well as taxis, to reduce their environmental impact by introducing hydrogen-fuelled transportation. This is in accordance with the government’s initiatives for buses and taxis to emit zero CO2 or other air pollutants such as NOx from 2030. In the policy, the green transition of buses is done in three stages; 1) By 2020 buses must be CO2 neutral, 2) by 2025 new buses in the cities must not release any type of air pollution, and 3) by 2030 no buses in the cities are emitting pollutants. Towards the year 2050, this change in bus operations can potentially save 6 million tonnes of CO2 with the Danish CO2 emissions at approximately 35 million tonnes in 2016. The hydrogen industry in Denmark has received approximately 40 million euros in grants to the H2Bus Europe project from Connecting Europe Facility programme (CEF) in support of 180 new hydrogen buses to be deployed along with the infrastructure by 2020. The H2Bus Europe project, developed by the hydrogen company Nel, aims to get a total of 600 hydrogen buses on the roads in selected regions in Europe. By implementing hydrogen buses, it could save around 7% of the total CO2 emissions in the municipalities.  Furthermore, Denmark’s third largest city Aalborg have signed two contracts for the delivery of 3 fuel cell buses with a hydrogen production and refueling station. The buses will be operational from October 2019 as the country’s first fuel cell bus system. The Belgian-based VanHool will deliver the buses whilst the Danish-based GreenHydrogen will deliver the production and refueling station. The developments will be financed by the EU project 3Emotion with 1.2 million euros to support it. This is the first time that heavy transports such as buses are being mentioned in the government’s agenda, however other heavier transport are still not mentioned such as trucks.

Photo: Courtesy of HyBalance