Fuel cell vehicles pilot project takes off at Sandvik’s operations in Sandviken, Sweden

Imagine if the only emission from cars was pure water. With fuel cell vehicles, this dream has become a reality. Recently, Sandvik and Sandviken Municipality have launched an innovative joint pilot project for the introduction of fuel cell vehicles in Sandviken, Sweden. The purpose is to evaluate the feasibility of introducing a permanent hydrogen fueling station along with some fuel cell vehicles while increasing awareness of the technology.

Entitled 'Save the planet – Use more fuel (cells), the project showcases the potential of fuel cells while spreading the knowledge of a technology that is growing worldwide, but is relatively unknown in Sweden. Sandvik is the first Swedish company, together with a municipality, to launch such a project, which is aligned with Sandvik's strategic commitments to innovation and business sustainability.

"An important aspect of this project involves reducing vehicle emissions and decreasing the harmful effects on our health caused by air pollution from exhaust gases, a major problem in urban areas," explained Petra Einarsson, President of Sandvik Materials Technology. "Another aim is to investigate the feasibility of building a permanent hydrogen gas fueling station and using fuel cell vehicles in our operations. If this becomes reality, it would be the first of its kind for a company in Sweden."

The only emission from a hydrogen fuel cell is pure water, which, if widely used, would eliminate local emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions from vehicular traffic. Hydrogen produced from renewable sources is completely green and in this pilot project only 'green' hydrogen is being used.

Two fuel cell passenger cars along with a fork lift truck and mobile hydrogen refueling station will be located at Sandvik's industrial estate in Sandviken, Sweden. While one car will be used on, for example, business trips, the other will be used by Sandviken Municipality. Both will be present at local events to further raise awareness of the environmental benefits and zero emissions from the fuel cell vehicles.

Sandvik's work with materials for fuel cells

Sandvik has spent the past few years developing technology for the material in the plates that connect the electric cells in the fuel cells. The plates are made from stainless steel and feature a special coating that is corrosion resistant and ensures a high degree of electrical efficiency from the cells.

"The fuel cell industry is a growing market in which we have a unique position and can realize our vision to set the industry standard. In Sandviken we have a full-scale plant that is fully prepared for fuel cell technology to take off," said Petra Einarsson. "We see this project as an opportunity to increase awareness of a technology that already exists. Through our engagement in this project, we are also demonstrating that as a company we are making a real commitment to the values that are important to us."

The pilot project is scheduled to run until October 17 after which the results will be fully evaluated to examine the possibilities of a permanent fuel cell solution.

Petra Einarsson, President of Sandvik Materials Technology, and Peter Kärnström, Mayor of Sandviken Municipality, cut a coated strip steel from Sandvik. Håkan Holmberg, Manager Strategic Business Development within Surface Technology, helps out.

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