3 questions to smart minds

Hydrogen technology is gaining ground in mobility

For this 3 questions to Christian Scheller

DILO fittings and systems
Photo: Chris­tian Scheller
17. June 2024

Flexi­ble to use, easy to trans­port and clean to burn: the advan­ta­ges of hydro­gen as an energy carrier make it a promi­sing candi­date for driving forward the energy and trans­por­ta­tion tran­si­tion. Hydro­gen makes sense above all where grea­ter ranges are requi­red — for heavy-duty trans­por­ta­tion, inland water­way vessels or trains, for example. 

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Chris­tian Schel­ler, CEO of global market leader DILO Arma­tu­ren und Anlagen

1. Hydro­gen tech­no­lo­gies are gaining ground. What made you decide to invest in KEYOU?

We see enorm­ous poten­tial in hydro­gen tech­no­lo­gies to funda­men­tally change mobi­lity and take a big step towards CO2 neutra­lity in the short term. KEYOU has estab­lished itself as an inno­va­tive pioneer in the deve­lo­p­ment of such tech­no­lo­gies by conver­ting exis­ting combus­tion engi­nes that have been tried and tested over many years to run on hydro­gen. This approach enables a cost-effi­ci­ent decar­bo­niza­tion of the trans­port sector, espe­ci­ally freight trans­port, without fleet opera­tors having to replace their entire vehicle fleet.

Howe­ver, there are still some chal­lenges to over­come in the process chain on the way to hydro­gen mobi­lity, for which DILO and KEYOU can jointly deve­lop solu­ti­ons. In order to put this stra­te­gic part­ner­ship on a solid footing from the outset and to demons­trate our commit­ment, we deci­ded to invest after just a few joint discus­sions, as our two teams also harmo­nize excel­lently on a perso­nal level.

2. How do you assess the deve­lo­p­ment of hydro­gen mobi­lity in Germany and Europe?

Hydro­gen mobi­lity in Germany and Europe is curr­ently deve­lo­ping very dyna­mi­cally. It is largely undis­pu­ted among experts that it will not be possi­ble to decar­bo­nize freight trans­port in the near future without the use of hydro­gen-powered vehic­les. More and more tradi­tio­nal car manu­fac­tu­r­ers such as Daim­ler and BMW are taking this tech­no­logy very seriously, but many start-ups have also alre­ady deve­lo­ped promi­sing concepts. Nevert­hel­ess, hydro­gen mobi­lity in Germany and Europe is still in its infancy, as poli­ti­ci­ans have long been very one-sided in promo­ting the use of battery-powered vehic­les, i.e. elec­tric cars.

But here too, a rethink is slowly taking place, which we believe is abso­lut­ely neces­sary if we Euro­peans do not want to leave this field comple­tely to other nati­ons such as China or the USA. All in all, we see hydro­gen mobi­lity as a huge oppor­tu­nity for the Euro­pean economy. This is parti­cu­larly true if, as with the KEYOU approach, we succeed in using the exper­tise we have acqui­red over more than a hundred years in vehicle and engine cons­truc­tion for the further deve­lo­p­ment of hydro­gen mobility.

3. With its tech­no­lo­gies, DILO is helping to drive forward hydro­gen mobi­lity. What is the biggest problem in Germany?

Of course, it is essen­tial for the further deve­lo­p­ment of hydro­gen mobi­lity that a hydro­gen infra­struc­ture is estab­lished as quickly as possi­ble. Although there are alre­ady more than 100 hydro­gen filling stati­ons in Germany, we are still a long way from having anything even approa­ching a nati­on­wide network. If we look at freight trans­port, hydro­gen-based drive concepts often become unat­trac­tive simply because route plan­ning beco­mes much more compli­ca­ted. A second inhi­bi­ting factor is the high cost of produ­cing green hydro­gen and ther­e­fore its avai­la­bi­lity. Espe­ci­ally in compa­ri­son with exis­ting drive tech­no­lo­gies based on fossil fuels, this results in serious compe­ti­tive disadvantages.

In addi­tion, we would of course like to see much more support and funding for this tech­no­logy from poli­ti­ci­ans, as it is impos­si­ble to estab­lish a nati­on­wide infra­struc­ture without stable and support­ive legis­la­tion and funding. In our view, it would be abso­lut­ely desi­ra­ble for Germany and Europe if the ideo­lo­gi­cally moti­va­ted head­wind from poli­tics were to change into a tech­no­lo­gi­cally well-foun­ded tailwind.



About DILO GmbH

For 70 years, DILO has stood for the profes­sio­nal proces­sing, mixing and extra­c­tion of gases. With its four core areas of exper­tise SF6 gas, alter­na­tive insu­la­ting gases, systems for indus­trial gases and high-pres­sure pipe connec­tions, the tech­no­logy leader offers ever­y­thing requi­red for successful gas hand­ling. The product port­fo­lio is comple­men­ted by services for mixing, sepa­ra­ting and proces­sing insu­la­ting and extin­gu­is­hing gases. 80 agen­cies, 30 service points and 3 service centers ensure that DILO solu­ti­ons are in use worldwide.

Chris­tian Schel­ler has been CEO of DILO Arma­tu­ren und Anla­gen for 13 years.

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