BMW Group Plant Leipzig: Hydrogen as a Key Technology of the Future

+++ BMW Group Plant Leipzig hosts the Hydrogen Summit Central Germany +++ Opening of the fourth hydrogen filling station on the plant premises +++ Vision of the “Green Plant” with complete decarbonization of production +++

Leipzig. With regard to effective climate protection and sustainable mobility, the BMW Group has set itself clear targets for 2030. This relates to products and production. “We are solving the environmental challenges through technological innovation. Technology is the key to the future. This is our constructive response to climate protection,” says Hans-Peter Kemser, Head of the BMW Group Plant Leipzig. As a “green plant,” the Leipzig site aims in the future not only to reduce CO2-neutral, but even produceCO2-free. “Our vision is the complete decarbonization of production by replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen as the energy carrier of the future,” emphasizes Hans-Peter Kemser.

That is why he was particularly pleased to be the host at the Hydrogen Summit Central Germany, which took place today at the BMW Group plant in Leipzig. In the presence of Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of the Free State of Saxony, Dr. Reiner Haseloff, Minister President of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Kai Emanuel, District Administrator of the District of North Saxony, Henry Graichen, District Administrator of the District of Leipzig as well as Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of the City of Leipzig and Egbert Geier, Mayor of the City of Halle, guests from the fields of business, politics, administration and science exchanged views on site. In parallel, the event was broadcast in a livestream( Topics of the summit were application and investment projects as well as the development of a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure by 2030 in the Halle and Leipzig area. In his speech welcoming the guests, Hans-Peter Kemser formulated the three major challenges for the use of hydrogen, which are currently being intensively examined and evaluated at the Leipzig plant together with partners from politics and industry: “How does sufficient green hydrogen get to the plant? Which technology for the use of hydrogen is already available and which do we still need to develop with partners? With the costs of green hydrogen still high, how can we ensure economic viability?” A first step toward the use of hydrogen is the use of hydrogen-powered tractors and forklifts in logistics. These supply the assembly lines with the required parts. The first vehicles entered service at the plant back in 2013. There are now 81 hydrogen vehicles on the road. Another 37 will be added shortly. This is the largest hydrogen-powered logistics fleet in Germany. The big advantage is that refueling – similar to conventional fuels – is done in a very short time. And the gas stations themselves require little space. As part of the hydrogen summit, the BMW Group plant in Leipzig inaugurated what is now the fourth hydrogen filling station on the plant premises. The first refueling station went into operation in 2013 at the BMW i body shop, as Germany’s first indoor H2 refueling facility. Two more followed in 2015, and now a fourth filling station is supplying the steadily increasing number of hydrogen vehicles. The daily tank quantity is about 50 kg of hydrogen. From the very beginning, the BMW Group plant in Leipzig relied exclusively on certified green hydrogen. The Leipzig production site was planned from the outset as a “green plant” and has set standards in many areas in terms of sustainability. Be it with the production of the two electric vehicles BMW i3 and BMW i8, the four wind turbines, the storage farm or the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles in intralogistics. The BMW plant in Leipzig always aims to take a holistic approach to the issue of sustainability and drive it forward.

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