The Hydrogen Stream: BMW starts in-house production of fuel cells for iX5 Hydrogen

BMW Group said it is targeting the premium segment with its iX5 Hydrogen car, Topsoe revealed that it will invest $267 million to build the world’s largest SOEC electrolyzer plant in Denmark, and Bosch announced plans to invest $200 million in US fuel cell production.

BMW Group said it is commencing in-house, small-scale production of fuel cells for its iX5 in Munich, Germany. The small series of hydrogen cars will enter service in the next four months for test and demonstration purposes, targeting the premium segment. The fuel cells generate a high continuous output of 125 kW/170 hp, paired with an electric motor featuring fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, and a battery that enables the powertrain to deliver 275 kW/374 hp. BMW has collaborated with Toyota Motor on fuel cells since 2013.

Topsoe has taken the final investment decision (FID) for the world’s largest SOEC electrolyzer manufacturing plant in Herning, Denmark. Construction is expected to start within the second half. Its manufacturing capacity will be 500 MW per year, with an option to expand to 5 GW. CEO Roeland Baan said Topsoe is investing more than DKK 2 billion ($268.8 million) – “the single biggest investment in the company’s history.” It has 500 MW of pre-sold capacity and is talking to other potential off-take partners.

Bosch said it will produce fuel cell stacks at its facility in Anderson, South Carolina, as part of an investment of more than $200 million. The first Bosch fuel-cell production facility in the United States will likely be commissioned in 2026. The German group said it will globally invest more than $1 billion to develop mobile fuel cell technologies by 2024. Several companies, including Nikola, have tested prototype Class 8 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) featuring Bosch technology.

DNV has conducted a study on behalf of the NGO Clean Air Task Force (CATF) showing that the replacement of existing gray hydrogen production with low-carbon or green hydrogen alone could meet 60% of the Dutch industrial emissions target. The independent assurance provider said policies implemented to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the Netherlands have been successful in encouraging industrial decarbonization, but noted that hydrogen (either blue or green) is not yet sufficiently incentivized by policy mechanisms to bring confidence to investors and industry.

H-TEC Systems said it will provide two ME450 PEM electrolysis systems to Gruyère Hydrogen Power (GHP). “In future, GHP will supply the green hydrogen to an international industrial company based in Switzerland,” wrote H-TEC Systems. The systems are set to start operations by the end of next year. The two ME450 PEM electrolyzers have an electrical output of 1 MW each and will be supplied with green energy, predominantly from PV. The two facilities aim to produce up to 900 kilograms of green hydrogen per day.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) is seeking applications for projects in “Nuclear Coupled Hydrogen Production and Use.” The DoE said it aims to support the development of nuclear plant thermal integration required for high-temperature hydrogen production or hydrogen-coupled end uses for nuclear energy.

Nikola has announced that it will unveil the European Nikola Tre fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) beta version on Sept. 19 with partner Iveco. The Nikola Tre FCEV, which has a range of up to 500 miles, is expected to enter serial production for the North American market in late 2023 and a few months later in Ulm, Germany. 

The Shanghai municipal government said it wants to turn Lingang, a newly carved-out area of Shanghai’s Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), into a digital innovation center and hydrogen hub. The city’s Jiading district has also issued an implementation plan to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, targeting an output of CNY 100 billion ($14.5 billion) by 2025. 

Air Products and Associated British Ports have announced their intention to partner in bringing the first large-scale, green hydrogen production facility to the United Kingdom.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Siemens Energy, and 13 other entities have launched the Global Alliance for Industry Decarbonization. The alliance will focus on renewables and other transition-related technologies like green hydrogen.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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