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L-R: Gudrun Senk, Head of Plants Wien Energie, Gerhard Fida, Managing Director Wiener Netze, Peter Hanke, City Councilor, Günter Steinbauer, Managing Director Wiener Linien, Source: David Bohmann via City of Vienna

Vienna opens first hydrogen station with promise to become Austria’s central hydrogen hub

Vienna opens first hydrogen station with promise to become Austria’s central hydrogen hub

The hydrogen station comes with a bus that will help officials map the entire value chain: from production to distribution and storage to use

Yesterday, Vienna unveiled its first hydrogen bus and charging station as part of the city’s push to become the central Austrian hub for hydrogen technology. The project combines the efforts of the city-owned energy supplier, Wien Energie, the energy distribution company Wiener Netze and Wiener Linen, the public transportation company.

The hydrogen bus will start operating on 10 January as a part of Vienna’s public transport system and Wiener Linen will use the opportunity to test the viability of the whole supply chain. This includes storage, charging, passenger and run-efficiency capability, as well as pricing. It will allow the city’s public transport to better gauge the viability and financial cost of operating more hydrogen buses.

According to a statement by local authorities, Vienna will get an additional 10 hydrogen buses by 2024, and a second charging station as soon as 2023.

Build it and they will come

The filling station will be operated by Wien Energie and supplied by Wiener Netze and it will also be open to other hydrogen buses and trucks, in addition to the test H2 bus. According to Wien Energie, the station is a decisive step towards climate neutrality by 2040.

Michael Strebl, the Chairman of the Wien Energie management board, explained that this move opens the door for transport and logistics companies who want to switch to a more climate-friendly fuel source.

The current charging station provides grey hydrogen, meaning hydrogen that is made from electrolysis with natural gas. While it is carbon-efficient, it is not carbon neutral. This is why the energy duo, Wien Energie and Wiener Netze, are looking towards the future.

The 2023 charging station, according to their statement, should become the central charging hub in Austria and it will provide green hydrogen. It should be constructed around the electrolysis plant in Simmering and use renewable energy to produce the gas.

Wiener Linen – most passengers are climate neutral, but it can be done better  

Thanks to Vienna’s metro and tram lines, which are electric, around 80% of passengers on public transport are emissions-free. While the city has some electric buses, Wiener Linen wants to expand on that number to offer better services.

Günter Steinbauer, Managing Director of Wiener Linien, was quoted in a press release, saying: “We see a lot of potential in the use of hydrogen as a renewable drive type! While e-buses have been very successful in passenger use on the shorter inner-city routes for eight years, H2 buses are particularly suitable for demanding routes. And there are many of them in Vienna.”

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