A roadmap for financing hydrogen refueling networks – Creating prerequisites for H2-based mobility
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Their large-scale deployment is expected to play a major role in the de-carbonization of transportation in the European Union (EU), and is therefore an important policy element at EU and Member State level.
For FCEVs to be introduced to the market, a network of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) first has to exist. From a technological point of view, FCEVs are ready for serial production already: Hyundai and Toyota plan to introduce FCEVs into key markets from 2015, and Daimler, Ford and Nissan plan to launch mass-market FCEVs in 2017. At the moment, raising funds for building the hydrogen refueling infrastructure appears to be challenging. The business case is unattractive, which makes industry stakeholders hesitate to provide funds, and public and private financiers are reluctant to get involved. However, mobilizing private-sector financing for the rollout of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure – "the HRS rollout" –
under market conditions is crucial.
This study explores options for financing the HRS rollout which facilitate the involvement of private lenders and investors. We present a number of different financing options, involving public-sector bank loans, funding from private-sector strategic equity investors, commercial bank loans, private equity, and funding from infrastructure investors. The options outline the various requirements for accessing these sources of funding with regard to project structure, incentives and risk mitigation.