We spend 60 seconds with Klaus Frolich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Research and Development

 

Why is your company a member of the hydrogen Council? Why do you believe this initiative is so important?

The trend to emission free mobility based on renewable energy is irreversible. The predominant renewable energy carrier of the future will be electricity as it can be used directly in battery electric vehicles in the most efficient way. For customers who need to drive a large vehicle over long distances, the same electricity can be used in an electrolysis process to generate hydrogen which can be used in a fuel cell vehicle.

The market success of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles cannot be achieved by OEMs only. We need strong partners within the industries to build up the hydrogen energy infrastructure from production to utilization. Many initiatives already exist but the Hydrogen Council is the only worldwide initiative with global industry players representing the whole hydrogen value chain. The Hydrogen Council offers the right platform to align, facilitate and accelerate all required activities.

 

If the sky was the limit, what action would you like the Council to take ?

My expectation is that with the help of the Hydrogen Council and its member’s a regulatory framework will be established and new technologies will be developed and standardized that make hydrogen cost competitive to other energy carriers. The involved companies will then have the power to scale up hydrogen applications and viable business models.

 

What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing Hydrogen technology right now? How does your organization intend to deal with this challenge?

The biggest challenge is cost competitiveness along the whole hydrogen value chain in comparison to Battery Electric Vehicles. We’re doing our share by deploying a lot of development effort to reduce the costs of fuel cells and the drive train together with our industry partners. We would like to encourage other institutions and companies along the hydrogen value chain to work on cost reduction in their particular business areas, too.

 

If you could communicate one Hydrogen related message to the general public, what would it be?

Provided the hydrogen infrastructure is established, FCEVs are the zero emission technology option that allows the customers to maintain their driving habits in the same way as today with high flexibility.

 

When we speak again in 2019 and are looking back at Hydrogen Council`s work this year, that would you like to be able to say?

In 2018 I’m hoping that with the work of the Hydrogen Council not only the awareness of hydrogen as a technology has risen, but also many hydrogen infrastructure and utilization projects have been started.