Berlin, 11 June 2018 –The National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, NOW GmbH, turns 10!

NOW has supported the introduction of clean, sustainable mobility and energy supply at the interface of politics, industry and science since 2008. In the spotlight: national strategies and public-private programmes in the field of sustainable drive technologies. This especially encompasses electric mobility with fuel cells and batteries but also natural gas and electricity-based fuels as well as the introduction and market ramp-up of fuel cell technology in the stationary sector. On 11 June 2018, the 10th anniversary will be celebrated in the atrium of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) under the motto “Mobility and Energy with Batteries and Fuel Cells – Market Preparation, Commercialisation, Challenges of the Future” in the presence of the Federal Minister for Transport and Digital infrastructure, Andreas Scheuer.

Dr. Klaus Bonhoff, Managing Director of NOW GmbH, draws a positive balance:
“Over the past few years, a lot has been done to promote climate protection through the BMVI programmes. Mobility with alternative drives is a reality on the road, on rail and on water; the corresponding refuelling and charging infrastructures are under construction; and the number of municipalities involved in electric mobility is increasing. Overall, we are on the right track, but we must continue to ensure that public sector measures for the integration of renewable energies are planned holistically. After all, the energy and transport transition is a complex process.”

NOW was founded by the German government on 18 February 2008 as a Programme Management Association to coordinate funding under the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). This first phase – NIP I – concluded in 2016. With a total investment volume of 1.4 billion euros as well as the support of four federal ministries, NIP I helped create an industry comprising some 500 players, from which products from key application areas in the stationary and mobile sectors made the step into the commercial market possible. In late 2017, the federal government resolved to continue the NIP programme and thus confirmed NOW as the Programme Management Association for a further ten-year period.

NOW has also been responsible for coordinating the funding programme for the Electric Mobility Model Regions since 2009. In an initial eight regional clusters, research and development projects as well as demonstration activities for battery electric mobility were promoted and implemented in the public domain. Within the framework of the Electric Mobility Funding Guideline, which has been in force since 2015, and the BMVI’s “Saubere Luft 2017 – 2020” Immediate Action Programme for clean air, the research and development funding priority was flanked by extensive procurement and concept funding support within the scope of market ramp-up measures in order to initiate a large number of regional and municipal activities.

Since 2017, NOW GmbH has also been commissioned by the BMVI with the implementation and coordination of the Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles funding guideline. Over the next four years, the German government is providing a total of 300 million euros to support the construction of at least 15,000 fast and normal charging stations. A comprehensive and customer-oriented charging infrastructure for battery electric vehicles is thereby being established.

NOW GmbH has supported the BMVI in the implementation and further development of the federal government’s Mobility and Fuels Strategy since 2017 – the central platform for shaping the energy transition in transport and thus for achieving the federal government’s energy and climate protection policy goals. This includes the technical evaluation of pilot projects, the further development of funding measures to support the AFID (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive) and the provision of general advice to the BMVI.

Since 2018, the successful activities have also been expanded internationally: as part of the Environmental Technologies Export Initiative (Exportinitiative Umwelttechnologien) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU – Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit), NOW GmbH and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ, German development agency) have agreed to jointly establish a network in emerging and developing countries in order to advance projects for the climate-friendly use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Within the scope of the assignment by the BMU, NOW is also expanding its partnerships with Japan in the field of power-to-gas technologies. In addition, with the establishment of the Sino-German Electro-Mobility Innovation and Support Center (SGEC), institutional cooperation between Germany and China will also be intensified.