H2 Energy and Coop:
At IBAarau’s run-of-river power plant, energy is stored as hydrogen and used to power vehicles when electricity generation is high but demand is low. The off-grid production facility is connected directly to the hydropower plant. The hydrogen produced there from renewable sources is supplied to Coop’s first-ever public hydrogen filling station in Switzerland. Located in the town of Hunzenschwil, it currently supplies renewable hydrogen to Coop’s 25 or so hydrogen cars as well as the world’s first hydrogen truck in its class, which the company designed itself – also as part of this project. No prior registration or training is required to use the filling station.
After just a few months, the benefits of our system are already clear. Specifically, these are:
- A suitable way of regulating the electricity fed in from hydropower and adjusting it in line with electricity demand, thus taking pressure off the power grid (storing renewable “excess” energy, providing extra services to the grid operator)
- Safeguarding the future of the hydropower plant operator through ultra-low electricity prices
- Securing effective, genuine reductions in CO2 (around 80 metric tons for the hydrogen truck and 2-7 metric tons for each hydrogen car, extrapolated over a year)
- Helping to protect the environment by preventing additional emissions (e.g. nitrogen oxides, particulate emissions, engine-related noise pollution)
- Replacing fossil fuels while generating added value for energy production and distribution in Switzerland
- Very popular among customers
All market players can run our system profitably and cost-effectively. Electric trucks are currently exempt from the performance-related heavy vehicle charge (LSVA) in Switzerland, a key criterion if mass-produced hydrogen trucks are going to make it onto the market. All the partners involved in the project are therefore very keen to put everything into scaling up this model without delay.
Using hydrogen trucks in the initial phase will also allow a Swiss-wide network of hydrogen filling stations to be built up quickly, benefiting off-the-shelf hydrogen-powered electric cars (“hydrogen cars”), which are growing increasingly popular.
Seeing very high demand for hydrogen trucks and buses after launching our system has prompted us to do all we can to find a truck manufacturer looking to begin mass-producing hydrogen trucks. There are already several such manufacturers in Japan and the U.S. (Hino-Toyota, Nicola Motors, Hyundai, etc.). Initially, hydrogen trucks will continue to cost much more than their conventional diesel counterparts. In a few years’ time, however, these costs will be comparable to those for standard trucks. It goes without saying that production volume is a key driver in this regard.
Working together with Coop, H2 Energy has created a complete, renewable hydrogen system in Switzerland in under a year.
Core elements of the hydrogen system:
- The world’s first 34-metric-ton hydrogen truck, complete with trailer
- The first hydrogen filling station in Switzerland
- The first PEM electrolyzer plant to run on renewable energy