The market introduction of fuel-cell electric vehicles in Northern European countries takes a step forward with Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai signing a memorandum of understanding with Nordic organizations.
The agreement signed in Copenhagen, Denmark, will see the introduction of FCEVs and hydrogen-refueling infrastructure between 2014 and 2017.
Infrastructure providers signing the memorandum include HyOP of Norway and H2 Logic and Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, both of Denmark. Other signees are HyNor Norway, Hydrogen Sweden, Icelandic New Energy, Hydrogen Link Denmark Assn. and the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership.
The pact seeks to generate interest among public and private stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark in accelerating the introduction of FCEVs in the region. It adds to an agreement signed in 2009 by European auto makers that set 2015 as a potential point for market introduction in regions where hydrogen refueling is available.
Honda says the newly signed agreement coincides with CEO Takanobu Ito’s announcement the auto maker is developing an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle for Japan, the U.S. and Europe to be launched in 2015.
It also follows a high-profile Europe Hydrogen Vehicle Road Tour organized by H2 Moves Scandinavia. The monthlong promotion included an event at the U.K.’s first public-access hydrogen refueling station at Honda’s Swindon manufacturing operation.
Ken Kier, executive vice president-Honda Europe, says the auto maker in 2002 became the first auto maker to put a fuel-cell car with regular customers on the road, delivering the Honda FCX Clarity to fleet users in the U.S. and Japan.
“We want to continue to lead the way for fuel-cell technology across the world, including Europe,” he says in a statement. “(The memorandum) signifies that commitment.”