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Danish politicians focus on hydrogen cars

17/09/2018

The popular Danish television program ”Langt fra Borgen”, which is a news program focusing on political issues, from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has devoted an episode to green mobility. The episode evolves around the question if Danish politicians are doing enough to promote green mobility. Two Danish politicians were filmed while they drove in a hydrogen car.

Denmark is doing well in reducing its CO2-emissions. The country as a whole has decreased its CO2-emissions, but the transport sector sadly has not contributed to this decrease. The levels of CO2-emissions for the transport sector are still the same as 15 years ago, since more private persons have purchased fossil fueled cars. A solution to this problem is to increase the number of green cars, such as electric vehicles and hydrogen cars, on the Danish roads. Right now, only little over 10.000 cars of the total amount of 2.5 million cars in Denmark, run on electricity or hydrogen.

The two politicians featured in the program agree that green mobility is the way to go and are both in favor of politicians giving consumers a (gentle) push in the right direction. They do, however, differ in their opinions on how to increase the number of green cars on the road and the time horizon to do just so.
Ida Auken, from the Danish Social-Liberal Party is championing a quick transition by creating several favorable conditions, such as tax redemptions for those buying hydrogen or electric vehicles. Kristian Pihl Lorentzen, from Venstre – The Liberal Party of Denmark, is relying on the free market mechanism: better technology of green cars will boost the demand for those cars, thereby lowering the prices due to the competitiveness of the market. This will eventually lead to a slow but inevitable transition to green cars.
In the show, the politicians visit one of Denmark’s ten hydrogen fueling stations. These fueling stations are realized with the support of the European Program H2ME2. The ten stations form a national network, so one can cross the entire country without risking to run out of hydrogen. The politicians experienced how easy it was to fuel a hydrogen car and were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and quiet driving a hydrogen car, in this case a Toyota Mirai, was.

Also, when confronted with the challenge to drink the only emission from a hydrogen car, which is just water, from the exhaustion, they did not hesitate. Despite it not being the best water, they’d ever tasted, the politicians were using this as a clear indication that hydrogen cars should be included as a serious option for green mobility.

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