From a previously unexplained cause is a hydrogen refueling station inwent up in flames. According to media reports, two people injured themselves in one not operated car stopped nearby. Due to the explosion, the airbags in the car would have triggered – without there being an impact. There was no serious personal injury due to the incident, said the head of the operator Nel Hydrogen, Jon André Lokke.
Due to the incident which already occurred on Monday evening in Sandvika near Oslo, the hydrogen supply for motorists in Norway collapsed completely. According to the media, Nel Hydrogen closed all stations in the country and others abroad. Before the plants start operating again, the background of the explosion would have to be clarified.
The newspaper "Dagens Næringsliv" reported on desperate fuel cell car drivers who now drive their cars, "It's totally tragic," she quotes the head of the hydrogen car association, Ulf Hafseld. Manufacturer secured the customers on loan replacement cars.
Another setback for fuel cell technology
For hydrogen technology, the incident is another bitter setback, at least in Norway. The Scandinavian country is dominated by battery electric cars, which are sold by the thousands each month. In contrast, only about 170 fuel cell-powered cars are allowed, which also benefit from lavish tax breaks. The number of hydrogen refueling stations had already decreased recently.
Fuel cell cars are also spreading more slowly worldwide than hoped for by supporters of technology. As a reason that is still in many places thin network of, These are expensive, also because high security requirements apply. Hydrogen is highly flammable. In addition, the vehicles cost significantly more than with a large battery, which already has tens of thousands of charging stations in Europe. Earlier this week, Toyota announced it had stepped up to battery electric cars ,
In Norway Toyota delivered after the incidentinitially no more fuel cell cars. As long as there is no fuel to buy, this is pointless. Also did not want to hand over hydrogen cars to the customer until the cause of the fire was found and supply was ensured again. Both companies stated that they consider technology to be safe in principle. Toyota wants to bring soon a cheaper model on the market.
The incident also left its mark on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Equities of the plant operator Nel crashed on Tuesday by up to 29 percent and later reduced their losses slightly. The company specializes in producing, storing and distributing hydrogen from renewable sources.