Thursday, 25 October 2018

Great Wall tackling H2 market first in Germany

Source: H2 Mobility, 24th October 2018

One of China’s largest and state-owned carmakers, Great Wall Motors (GWM), has announced an investment in H2 Mobility. The consortium that is backed by Daimler, Total or Shell, aims to install a network of hydrogen filling stations across Germany so Great Wall’s engagement comes as a bit of a surprise at first.

However, if you consider that China is looking to decarbonise transport, it is not too far off that Great Wall would look into fuel cell electric vehicles and also hydrogen infrastructure. The press release sent by H2 Mobility says: “GWM is on the way to develop and deploy cost-competitive fuel cell electric drive technologies. In the future, GWM will provide FCEVs to customers in China, and will later consider expanding into international markets with a focus on early hydrogen markets such as Germany with its rapidly growing hydrogen station network developed by H2 Mobility.”

Moreover, GWM appears to be invested in building hydrogen infrastructure in China. Again, the press release: “In order to contribute to establishing a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure network in China as soon as possible, GWM is making investments in hydrogen refuelling technologies.”

So these are two new commitments. One for Great Wall to start building fuel cell electric vehicles to be sold in China and abroad. And secondly, to invest in hydrogen infrastructure in the country, possibly taking learning acquired from working with H2 Mobility in Germany.

The latter is currently in the first phase of building the network, that will see H2 Mobility operate 100 hydrogen stations in seven German metropolitan areas (Hamburg, Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Munich), and along connecting motorways in 2019. Overall the network will include 400 H2 filling stations eventually.

Great Wall Motor has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with H2 Mobility to become its seventh shareholder and co-owner. GWM thereby joins the six existing shareholders, namely Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total. Moreover, GWM joined the Hydrogen Council earlier this year. It now counts 26 members, among them Bosch, BMW, Honda or ABB.

We have reached out to Great Wall for further comment on their commitment and will keep you updated.

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