At the end of 2017, there were 56 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, of which 45 are publicly accessible. The German network of public refuelling stations has doubled in the past year, according to H2stations.org. By 2019, this number is expected to grow to 100 refuelling stations. Exact planning has already started for 31 dedicated locations. This makes Germany, ahead of the USA, the country with the second largest hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, only surpassed by Japan. When looking at the number of hydrogen refuelling stations per inhabitant, Germany ranks fourth behind Denmark, Norway, and Japan, closely followed by Austria.
Japan had expanded its refuelling station network strongly in 2015 and 2016, and has continued on a somewhat slower pace in 2017 with 11 new stations. In the United States, 5 new public stations have opened, all in California. “While many other countries are planning and expanding their networks with a focus on selected population centres, Germany and Denmark are currently the leading countries in establishing refuelling networks with a comprehensive national coverage”, says Reinhold Wurster, hydrogen expert at LBST.
On a European level, national networks are complemented by seamless hydrogen corridors from Norway to northern Italy and from western Switzerland to Vienna, which had already formed last year. These have been consolidated by further 36 publicly accessible hydrogen stations. Norway, Great Britain and France have opened three public stations, Austria two.
According to Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik, 139 hydrogen stations are currently in operation in Europe, 118 in Asia, 68 in North America, one in South America, and one in Australia. A new member in the hydrogen community is the United Arab Emirates with one private station in Dubai. Of the 328 hydrogen stations worldwide, 227 can be used like any conventional retail station, another 24 after previous appointment. This has further increased the proportion of public stations. The others are dedicated to refuelling of buses or fleet customers.