MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen


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MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen

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MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen
MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen

Masterflex Cargobike for Bottrop

City of Bottrop supports the Europe-wide fuel cell project HyChain Minitrans


The first contractual agreement for the purchase of hydrogen vehicles, including the Cargobike cargo cab from Masterflex Brennstoffzellentechnik GmbH, has now been signed in the Emscher-Lippe region. The vehicles are to be tested for their suitability for everyday use, thereby supporting their development to market maturity.

The procurement of the vehicles is part of the EU project HyChain-Minitrans, one of the lead projects of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Transport and Energy. Under the overall coordination of Air Liquide, 25 European companies and institutions are involved in the project, including Masterflex Brennstoffzellentechnik GmbH. The aim of the HyChain-Minitrans project is to introduce hydrogen as an alternative fuel on the basis of innovative fuel cell vehicles in the small power range up to 10 kilowatts. Five different vehicles have been developed for this purpose, which will be used and commercially tested in four European regions over a three-year period.

The city of Bottrop is expected to start operating a fuel cell-powered utility vehicle and the Cargobike cargo bicycle from Herten-based Masterflex Brennstoffzellentechnik GmbH in mid-2008.

The permissible payload of the Cargobike is 100 kilograms. The cargo bike will initially be used for local and external appointments of the city administration. Other conceivable uses are in messenger or janitorial services.

Compared to conventional electric vehicles, the fuel cell promises a two to three times greater range for the vehicles. The vehicles are refueled using replaceable high-pressure hydrogen cartridges. To make changing the cylinders easier and safer for the user, the project developed new types of hydrogen cartridges with a quick-release fastener called a "clip-on." Compared to recharging batteries, the time required for users to replace the cartridges is negligible. Refueling a light truck by replacing the cylinders takes around five minutes, while refueling a cargo bike takes just a few seconds.

At the Marl Chemical Park, Air Liquide Deutschland GmbH has built a 700-bar hydrogen filling plant, the only one of its kind in the world, which, together with the hydrogen cartridges and cylinders developed, will play a central role in the project in the future. The plant is already ready for operation. From here, the vehicles in Bottrop and all vehicles in the four participating regions will be supplied with the high-pressure cartridges and cylinders required for the applications.

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