Hydrogen Pioneers on the Road

On a sunny and breezy day in May, we encountered the entrepreneurial duo behind the H2roadtrip. Our rendezvous took place at the operational hydrogen filling station in Gothenburg. Els and André Molengraaf, a married couple, are two entrepreneurs who meld their passions for tackling challenges, driving innovation, and educating through this road trip, demonstrating the feasibility of traveling fossil- and emission-free across Europe.

” We have a clear vision to demonstrate the feasibility of emission-free travel and are strong advocates for transitioning to sustainable energy sources for vehicles. ”

Els and André Molengraaf

Els is an enthusiastic and seasoned entrepreneur, specializing in project management and event coordination, while André focuses on hydrogen storage alongside his brother, boasting over 30 years of experience in vehicle conversion and manufacturing.

In 2018, he co-founded H2storage BV with three partners.

About the H2roadtrip Project

The objective of the journey is for them to orchestrate hydrogen information and promotional events in each country they visit. They will provide insights into the latest developments in the hydrogen industry, showcasing the ability to traverse over 12,000 km across Europe in a hydrogen-powered, emission-free vehicle.

Their voyage entails driving through Europe in an electric car charged by a hydrogen combustion generator and hydrogen gas, ensuring a journey devoid of emissions. Over 100 days, they will traverse the European coastline, passing through 12 countries, all without emitting any pollutants, underscoring hydrogen’s pivotal role in shaping the future.

With meticulous storage and planning, today presents no barriers to commencing the transition to hydrogen. They navigate in a modified Ford 150 Lightning, modified to charge batteries on the go from the hydrogen generator. Additionally, they tow an especially self-build caravan equipped with extra H2 storage, extending energy storage and range up to 1,200 km.

Their expedition commenced in Norway at the onset of May and is slated to culminate in Turkey later this summer, with Sweden and Gothenburg integral stops along their coastal odyssey.

Els and André Molengraaf at the Hynion Hydrogen refueling station, Biskopsgården – Göteborg, Sweden.

Why hydrogen?

Hydrogen emerges as the optimal long-term solution for storing energy derived from renewable sources like solar and wind. An early embrace of fuel cells and retrofitted internal combustion engines underscores hydrogen’s pivotal role in the future fuel landscape.

Els and André seek to emphasize water’s significance in hydrogen production via electrolysis, were water splits into hydrogen and oxygen, emitting only water vapor. Hence, their journey symbolically traces the European coastline.

They also aim to debunk the notion that hydrogen use incurs higher costs compared to conventional fuels, asserting that technology poses no hindrance to initiating the transition.

Challenges and opportunities

They identify pricing competitiveness, investment costs, and operational expenses as the primary hurdles hindering the wider adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Overcoming these obstacles necessitates a shift in societal mindset to foster greater awareness and appreciation of hydrogen’s potential among the public and policymakers.

The future of hydrogen-powered vehicles

Els and André foresee hydrogen-powered vehicles becoming commonplace on roads within a few years, complementing battery-electric vehicles. Given the varying conditions across countries in terms of electricity grid access, capacity, and terrain, a diverse range of electric vehicles will be indispensable. The trajectory will hinge on factors such as cost, accessibility, and governmental support. They anticipate increased demand for hydrogen-powered buses and heavy-duty vehicles with evolving CO2 emission regulations.

Vätgas Sweden wishes Els and André the best of luck on their journey through Europe and hopes they inspire others about the potential of using hydrogen for vehicle propulsion!

Welcome back to Sweden!

Follow the H2Roadtrip journey