The technology company The Linde Group took another important step on the road to zero-emissions hydrogen (H2) mobility.
Under the BeeZero brand name the Group’s newly founded subsidiary, Linde Hydrogen Concepts, launched the world’s first car sharing service to exclusively use hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars. Dr Christian Bruch, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, symbolically unveiled the first BeeZero car in front of an invited audience in Munich today.
“We expect to gain valuable information from day-to-day fleet operations, which we will use to further develop our hydrogen technologies and to help expanding the H2 infrastructure,” explains Bruch. “BeeZero synergises two mobility trends that are gaining a lot of ground at the moment – car sharing and zero emissions – and will bring the benefits of fuel-cell technology to a wider group of potential users.”
Bavaria’s Economics and Energy Minister Ilse Aigner said: “Bavaria is a leader in hydrogen technology and BeeZero constitutes the first large-scale deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the car sharing industry. I applaud this initiative from Linde, a pioneer in the development of hydrogen infrastructure, especially from an energy and environmental perspective.”
Customer-focused and sustainable
The new car sharing service will be run on a zone-based model. The BeeZero fleet will comprise fifty ‘Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell’ cars, which will be available in the city centre and also in the areas of Schwabing, Haidhausen, Au and Glockenbachviertel. It is the world’s first major fleet of fuel-cell cars run by a single operator. As with conventional car sharing services, the cars can be easily booked online or via a smartphone app.
Fuel-cell vehicles can travel over 400 kilometres on a single tank. This means that – unlike battery-powered electric cars – the hydrogen vehicles are also ideal for medium-distance journeys, for example, to the Bavarian lakes or the mountains, and not just for short trips in the city. As such, BeeZero offers a new, competitively priced car sharing concept that fills a gap in the existing service landscape.
Unless the customer chooses otherwise, the cars will be refuelled by BeeZero employees. The hydrogen fuel is sourced exclusively from sustainable production processes, making it completely carbon neutral.
The company is applying for project funding to the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II), an initiative run by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. This co-funding would enable the project’s range and scope to be substantially enlarged.
Leading the way in hydrogen technology for 100 years
Linde has a wealth of expertise and many years of experience in the hydrogen sector. The company has been producing hydrogen on a large scale for its industrial customers for over a century now. Around 25 years ago, Linde was also one of the first companies to recognise hydrogen’s potential as a clean fuel and to invest in developing the necessary technology to capitalise on this opportunity. Today, the company is the leading supplier of hydrogen refuelling solutions and boasts a number of unique selling propositions such as its robust, low-maintenance ionic compressor and its cryopump.
As a founding member of influential initiatives such as the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) and H2MOBILITY Deutschland, Linde is committed to commercialising hydrogen as an environmentally-friendly energy carrier. The company has also shown that it is willing to explore new and unusual paths, for example by unveiling a prototype for an electric bicycle powered by a fuel cell in October 2015.