09.10.2012
Toyota, Nissan, Honda & Hyundai sign MoU on market introduction of fuel cell vehicles in Nordic Coun

Today at a signing ceremony in Copenhagen, the car manufacturers Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with organisations from the Nordic Countries on market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure during the period 2014-2017. The MoU will catalyse a dialogue with public and private stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark on securing relevant financing and support mechanisms for accelerating the market introduction.

Car manufacturers have invested significantly in the development of FCEVs in the past decade. Alongside, infrastructure companies have continuously developed hydrogen production and refuelling technologies and standards, in particular within the Nordic countries.

The results are promising, with FCEVs today providing the same long range and fast refuelling as conventional gasoline powered vehicles. In 2009 several of the world’s leading car manufactures signed an agreement aiming for 2015 as a potential year for market introduction for FCEVs in regions where the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen refuelling is available.

National network organisations within Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have actively worked for the establishment and planning of hydrogen refuelling stations since 2006, under the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership(SHHP). The infrastructure companies HYOP AS (Norway), H2 Logic A/S (Denmark) and others have invested significantly since 2006 in the opening of several hydrogen refuelling stations within the countries and are actively preparing plans for countrywide networks beyond 2015.

The rich variety of renewable energy sources in the Nordic countries also provides a strong case for sustainable hydrogen production, which in turn can help storing and balancing even higher shares of fluctuating renewable electricity in the Nordic power grids

Toward 2015 important steps and decisions have to be taken to ensure a successful market introduction. In particular the engagement of private stakeholders such as national energy companies and investors is key to realize the hydrogen infrastructure roll-out. Governments in turn should provide stable long term market conditions and mechanisms to foster a coordinated roll-out. The Nordic MoU will catalyze a dialogue among the central stakeholders on these topics.

The MoU partners will therefore specifically endeavour to cooperate on:

  • Joint pursuit of introduction of FCEVs and establishment of hydrogen infrastructure in the Nordic countries starting around year 2014 to 2017
  • Advocating for establishment of necessary public financing and support mechanisms for the FCEVs and the hydrogen infrastructure
  • Engagement of key national dealerships of the car manufacturers
  • Engagement of key national energy and infrastructure companies
  • The car manufacturers will endeavour for a market launch of the FCEVs in 2015 or later provided that sufficient Infrastructure has been introduced
  • The Infrastructure Companies will endeavour to introduce the hydrogen infrastructure starting around year 2014 to 2017
  • The efforts of the Parties are subject to establishment of public financing and support mechanisms for the FCEVs and the hydrogen infrastructure

The MoU was signed in the presence of the Danish Minister for Transport and the Director of the International Energy Agency, directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the 3GF conference in Copenhagen.

Quotes of the selected MoU signatures

Soichiro Okudaira, Managing Officer Toyota Motor Corporation states:
“The Nordic countries are already recognised as world leaders in advanced renewable green energy such as hydroelectricity and wind energy. I am pleased that Toyota has the opportunity to participate in this collaboration seeking to advance hydrogen fuel cell technology, something we see as a vital part for the future of automobiles. As an automotive manufacturer, we not only aim to develop ever-better products to meet the needs of our customers, our dedication to eco-mobility also stems from our company’s fundamental principles to contribute positively to society.”

Tim Dunn, Head of Advanced Engineering at Nissan Technical Centre Europe states:

“The objective of this MoU is to bring together the public bodies and private companies that can make hydrogen-fuelled electric vehicles, and the infrastructure they need, a reality on our roads from 2014-17. The potential for hydrogen production from the vast renewable energy sources that exist in Scandinavia as well as the support shown by the governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland make the region an obvious place to draw up such a partnership. Nissan looks forward to working with the partners of this MoU to build an ecosystem that will allow Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to thrive in these countries.”

Mitsuhiro Ueno, President, Honda R&D Europe GmbH states:

“Copenhagen hosted the COP15 in 2009. Today we are back here in Copenhagen to make sustainable transport a reality. Honda is very proud to join this consortium today. The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership will be the catalyst to enable an infrastructure for the ultimate green mobility, which is the fuel cell vehicle. We are very excited to be able to share the joy of sustainable mobility in the near future with the Scandinavian people and bring our fuel cell vehicles to Scandinavia in 2015.”

Ulf Hafseld, CEO of HYOP AS states:
"This MoU signals an important step forward in the work of introducing hydrogen fuelled cars and fuelling infrastructure in Norway. In order to minimize market entry costs, the only way to succeed is to closely coordinate the introduction of cars and infrastructure, as this MoU provides a tool for."

Bjørn Simonsen, chairman, HyNor of Norway states:

“Through several years we have had contact with car manufacturers on an individual basis. That we now have this joint dialogue with several of the world’s leading car manufacturers around the table strengthens our efforts, and makes the process going forward more efficient. We already have a beginning hydrogen infrastructure, and the MoU will help engage the key actors in our respective countries more proactively in the coming years toward the commercial introduction of FCEVs in the Nordic region.”

Mikael Sloth, Chairman Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership states:

“For the Nordic organisations the MoU is an important step towards ensuring our region as one among the first where hydrogen for transport is introduced to the market. This is important for meeting the Nordic long term targets for sustainable transport. Also it can help create a strong and early home market for Nordic businesses and companies within hydrogen and fuel cell technology”.

Further information

Norway: Bjørn Simonsen | bjorn@kunnskapsbyen.no | +47 971 79 821

Sweden: Björn Aronsson | bjorn.aronsson@vatgas.se | +46 70 349 09 58

Iceland: Jón Björn Skúlason | skulason@newenergy.is | +354 863 6510

Denmark: Flemming Wennike | fw@hydrogenlink.net | +45 2938 3965

Pictures from the signing are available at:

www.scandinavianhydrogen.org and www.hydrogenlink.net

Signing organisations of the Nordic MoU:

Car manufacturers

Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan)

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (Japan)

Honda R&D Europe GmbH (Germany)

Hyundai Motor Company (Republic of Korea)

Hydrogen infrastructure companies

HYOP AS (Norway)

H2 Logic A/S (Denmark)

Copenhagen Hydrogen Network A/S (Denmark)

Nordic NGO’s

HyNor (Norway)

Hydrogen Sweden

Icelandic New Energy

Hydrogen Link Denmark Association

Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP)