Hydrogen car deal for hydrogen highway

May 9, 2006, 10:00 CEST

HyNor has entered into an agreement with the US company Quantum Technologies to acquire15 hydrogen-powered automobiles. The vehicles are Toyota Prius models - with a hybrid solution that becomes even more environmentally friendly by their conversion to hydrogen power.

Nine of the cars will be affiliated with Hydro’s hydrogen filling station at Hærøya in Porsgrunn, which is scheduled to start operating by spring 2007.

“In order to build Hydro’s first hydrogen station in Norway, we have been dependent on local users wanting to get a hydrogen-powered car. We’re therefore pleased that we have more than enough and have managed to acquire 15 vehicles,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of Hydro’s activities within new energy forms.

Hydro starts construction of its new hydrogen station on May 31, and will host a reception for invited guests to honor the occasion. Norway’s Minister for Transport and Communications, Liv Signe Navarsete, has said yes to our invitation to lay the cornerstone of the new facility.

“It’s important to cultivate knowledge and gain experience concerning the use of alternative technology and green fuels. It’s the reason the Ministry of Transport and Communications has earmarked some NOK 22 million of its 2006 budget towards the research and development of projects tied to alternative technology and environmentally friendly fuels, including the HyNor project,” said Navarsete.

HyNor is a Hydro-led joint project that has brought together some 30 public and private partners determined to boost the use of hydrogen as a fuel in Norway’s transport sector. The goal is to build a series of local hydrogen filling stations in Stavanger, Lyngdal, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Oslo. Completed in 2009, the string of stations will comprise a ”hydrogen highway” between Stavanger in southwestern Norway and Oslo in the southeastern part of the country.

“The point of the project is to raise hydrogen’s visibility as a new, safe and environmentally friendly fuel that is well suited for daily transportation,” says Bech Gjørv.

Four cars will be affiliated with the filling station in Stavanger. Two vehicles will be used by HyNor’s venture partner HyTrec in Trondheim.

Miljøbil Grenland, a Porsgrunn-based professional operator of a fleet of electric cars, has signed an agreement, on behalf of the HyNor project, with the California-based Quantum Technologies and will lease the cars to users in Porsgrunn, Stavanger and Trondheim.

“We see this as a new and interesting area within environmental technology that complements our electric car focus,” says Bjørn Nenseth, managing director of Miljøbil Grenland.