The demonstration projects H2Rivers and H2Rhine-Neckar show the potential of hydrogen and fuel cell technology along the Rhine and Neckar rivers. The aim is to establish a local supply chain from production to distribution and consumption of renewable hydrogen. The projects are implemented by public transport companies, waste management companies and fleet operators, producers and distributors of green hydrogen, and the participating municipalities. H2Rhine-Neckar and H2Rivers generate visibility for hydrogen and fuel cell technology in the short term and speed up the process to reach market maturity in the medium term.
With its showcase project for fuel cell mobility, the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region has already been able to present itself as a pioneer at trade fairs and events. In June 2022, the start of the construction of the filling center H2 Hub on Friesenheim Island marked a first step in the development of the supply infrastructure as part of the HyPerformer project H2Rivers. The state-run project H2Rhine-Neckar, which is funded with €16.55 million from the Strategic Dialogue for the Automotive Sector in Baden-Württemberg, focuses on emission-free local public transport in Mannheim and Heidelberg. Here, the entire fleet of 40 articulated buses is being replaced by fuel cell range extender buses. To supply the buses with the necessary hydrogen and electricity, the corresponding infrastructure is being built at the depots. Besides the investments, the technical and economic challenges of a fleet conversion are researched as well. The findings from the accompanying research will contribute to the transformation towards emission-free mobility beyond the borders of the Rhine-Neckar region.