The automaker BMW and the oil company TOTAL have just signed an agreement to promote hydrogen as a source of energy for vehicles. The agreement between the two companies stipulates that TOTAL will build and manage three hydrogen distribution stations in Europe from the end of 2007, thus supporting the market launch of BMW brand vehicles powered by hydrogen.
The two companies are not at their first attempt as they are already working together in Berlin on a full-scale test of the viability of hydrogen as an energy source. As part of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) under the aegis of the German federal government, TOTAL opened in March 2006 in Berlin a public hydrogen supply station alongside traditional fuel pumps. This station replaces the pilot station already built in Berlin by TOTAL in 2002.
Before the end of the current year, TOTAL will open another public station of the same type in Detmoldstrasse in Munich, not far from FIZ, the BMW Research and Innovation Center. As for the third European hydrogen station, its location has not yet been chosen but this decision must be taken in the coming weeks.