Everfuel, the operator of Denmark’s hydrogen stations, has decided to close all of its operational stations, leaving customers of hydrogen cars or buses with no opportunity to fill up their vehicles. Currently, only the station in Henning is operational.
It’s a big u-turn from Everfuel’s earlier ambition to have 19 hydrogen stations ready by the end of this year. The contrast couldn’t be starker as, most likely, not a single one will remain open on Danish soil. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but we cannot continue to subsidize public hydrogen refueling,” commented Jacob Korgsgaard, CEO of Everfuel.
The decommissioning of the stations results from the typical chicken-and-egg problem concerning the rollout of hydrogen as a clean fuel for personal transportation.
There are only 136 FCEV vehicles operational in Denmark. Ten of them are in the hands of private customers, who will need to refill in Germany, which has 86 stations, or sell off their cars.
For Everfuel, the stations were not profitable enough to scale up further. Reportedly, the company lost 10,9 million euros on the hydrogen stations.
Three years ago, Everfuel took over the hydrogen network from NEL, a company that offloaded its station activities after an explosion in one of its sites in Oslo. The closure doesn’t mean Everfuel is turning its back entirely on hydrogen refueling.
The company will continue to invest in hydrogen sites for heavy trucks and dedicated fleets on a B2B basis. But mainly, Everfuel will prioritize the production of green hydrogen.
‘Sub-scale for some time’
In his comments, Korgsgaard also pointed to the immaturity of the market for hydrogen passenger cars. With only Hyundai and Toyota offering commercial models, and then some pilots like BMW with the iX5 Hydrogen, uptake remains too low to support a durable business case for energy providers. The CEO said that the market would remain “sub-scale for some time”.
With Everfuel backing out, Denmark is now the only hydrogen desert in the EU. How the country will align with the announced AFIR ruling is unclear. The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation from the EU demands hydrogen stations every 150 kilometers across member states, or 667 refueling points by 2030.