The Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure defines a common framework of measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the European Union in order to minimise dependence on oil and to mitigate the environmental impact of transport. It sets out minimum requirements for the building-up of alternative fuels infrastructure, including hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) for hydrogen-fuelled fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).
The current lack of refuelling infrastructure is the key barrier to development of the market for hydrogen. Interventions for stimulating implementation of HRS infrastructure are therefore necessary.
The Action is part of a Global Project aiming at deploying a German network of up to 140 HRS by 2017 and up to 400 HRS by 2023, and an Austrian network of 20 HRS by 2023 as well. Therefore, the Action’s overall objective is to foster FCEV use across Europe, significantly contributing to the European alternative fuels implementation strategy. The Action, including a study and real-life pilot deployments, is implemented along the German sections of the Baltic-Adriatic, North Sea – Baltic, Orient / East Med, Rhine – Alpine, Rhine – Danube and Scandinavian - Mediterranean core network corridors; and along the Austrian sections of the Baltic-Adriatic and Rhine-Danube core network corridors. To deliver on the overall objective of the Action, there are two specific objectives, which will be met by carrying out five defined activities within the Action.
The first specific objective is to understand all necessary technical, economic and customer-related requirements for the "connecting" HRS (allowing long distance driving along the main road core network corridors between urban nodes) to be successful. This objective will be met through studies and surveys (activities 3 and 4) enabling long-term viability of affordable, publicly accessible and cross-border HRS related services for FCEV. It includes the optimisation of business strategy for future investments and cross-functional incorporation of optimal standards in the industry.
The second specific objective is to test, operate, and monitor the use of HRS so as to interact and inform the study. This objective will be met by conducting a real life trial (activity 2) with 20 open-access HRS, including 17 in Germany and three in Austria. The operational use of the HRS is ensured by the plan of several car manufacturers to introduce FCEVs to the market from 2017 on, therefore securing the collection and analysis of meaningful operational data to feed the study. The trial will be a first test of the customer reaction to a genuine nationwide network, allowing for understanding the way the customers interact with this early network, optimising the technology and the spatial network strategy for HRS on core network corridors, and refining existing business plans for the next phase of investment in HRS along strategic TEN-T corridors in Europe. It aims also to understand the role of the new information and communication technology (ICT) tools which are being developed by the industry to inform drivers of HRS locations and their availability (activity 3).
Taking into account the other hydrogen TEN-T Actions 2011-EU-92130-S and 2013-EU-92077-S, all the project results will be disseminated widely at local, national and European levels of decision and policy makers (activity 5) and will provide a roadmap for Member States, supporting decision-making on national and transnational roll outs of HRS infrastructure. To ensure the Action is delivered on time and within budget, Project Coordination has been separated out as a distinct activity (activity 1).