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OMV presses on hydrogen-fuel accelerator

The Austrian energy company said it has opened its fourth filling station for fuel-cell vehicles.

By Daniel J. Graeber
OMV presses on hydrogen-fuel accelerator
The Austrian energy company OMV is opening a new fuel station on one of Europe's busiest roads to service vehicles powered by hydrogen as the next step in a plan to make the fuel more widely available. File photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

March 29 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Wednesday it was building on efforts to diversify its portfolio by opening more filling stations for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

"It's now possible for hydrogen vehicles to cross the whole of Austria for the first time, from north to south, west to east and vice versa," OMV Manager Wilfried Gepp said in a release emailed to UPI.

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The Austrian energy company announced it opened a new hydrogen filling station in southern Austria, its fourth such station so far. Situated on one of Europe's busiest traffic arteries, the company said the station connects Austria to a broader European network for fuel-cell vehicles.

Norway and the Netherlands lead Europe with market shares for electric vehicles, with 23 percent and 10 percent respectively. Germany as a whole has one of the greener economies in Europe, however, and Austrian energy company OMV announced an initiative in the country last year that envisions 400 hydrogen filling stations for alternative vehicles by 2023.

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Bloc-wide, the transportation sector still accounts for a significant portion of total air pollution, though a report from the European Environment Agency found abatement support growing at the national and city levels.

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OMV said hydrogen for mobility is a central component of its portfolio. While fossil fuels still dominate the transportation sector, the company said hydrogen "has almost unlimited availability and is low in emissions."

The company said there are plans for nearly two dozen hydrogen filling stations along major European transit corridors.

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A total of 20 stations should connect the most important European corridors to the hydrogen network, three of which are in Austria.

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