Opening of the public hydrogen filling station ORLEN Benzina in Barrandov, Prague, March 10, 2023. Minister of Transport Martin Kupka brings the filling hose to the vehicle.
Prague – By 2025, 12 hydrogen filling stations should be operating in the Czech Republic, and five years later there will be 80. The Czech Republic has six billion crowns ready for recharging and filling infrastructure and is in the approval phase there are now 11 hydrogen filler projects. Minister of Transport Martin Kupka (ODS) stated this during the opening of Orlen Unipetrol's first public gas station in Prague at Barrandov.
Orlen Unipetrol wants to have a total of 28 filling stations and two hydrogen distribution terminals for rail transport in Litvínov and Neratovice in the Czech Republic by 2030. He wants to open another gas station in Litvínov within a few months.
“We emphasize the development of the petrochemical segment, decarbonization, digitalization, recycling and the use of alternative energy sources, including biofuels and hydrogen. We will invest in this direction only until 2030 35 billion crowns,” said Tomasz Wiatrak, CEO of Orlen Unipetrol.
The Ministry of Transport supported the construction of the hydrogen station Orlen on Barrandov within the operational program Transport 2. According to Kupka, the current plans for the construction of gas stations do not yet reflect the current form of the draft European regulation on the introduction of infrastructure for alternative fuels, according to which hydrogen infrastructure must be built every 200 kilometers of main road TEN-T network. “That's why we expect an update of the National Clean Mobility Plan this year,” Kupka added.
Manufacturers of hydrogen vehicles were waiting for the opening of the first public gas station in Prague. Until now, the only public hydrogen filling station in the Czech Republic was operated by the company Vítkovice in Ostrava. In the Czech Republic, for example, ten Toyota Mirai cars run on hydrogen fuel cells. The logistics company Zásilkovna imported a hydrogen-powered truck to the Czech Republic. Hyundai also offers hydrogen cars. A Prague transport company wants to start testing a hydrogen bus in Prague.
“Until now, in the Czech Republic, we have mainly struggled with the problem of hydrogen refueling, because until recently there was a lack of any infrastructure. This is finally starting to change today, and we believe that the development of the infrastructure will now gain momentum. That is why we are coming up with an offer for our corporate customers, for whom it can be a hydrogen car is an interesting alternative,” said Toyota and Lexus CR CEO Martin Peleška.
According to Orlen, refueling a car with hydrogen takes three to five minutes, which is significantly less than recharging an electric car, which takes tens of minutes. The introductory price of a kilogram of hydrogen at a filling station in Prague is 278 crowns. A car can travel about 100 kilometers on one kilogram of hydrogen.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are essentially electric cars that do not obtain electrical energy from batteries, but from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. The only waste is clean water. According to the estimate of the Minister of Transport, up to 50,000 hydrogen-powered cars could be driving in 2030. Orlen wants to produce 4,500 tons of hydrogen from ecologically clean sources in the same period. This should be enough to power roughly 30,000 cars.