First Czech hydrogen refueling station to launch in Prague this year

Unipetrol will establish the first public refueling stations in the Czech Republic in Prague and Litvínov by the end of the year.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 19.09.2021 17:30 (updated on 19.09.2021)

The first public hydrogen refueling stations in the Czech Republic will be launched by the end of the year, according to a Lidovky.cz report. The Unipetrol Group will create two stations in Prague and Litvínov, with plans to develop more refueling stations in the future.

While hydrogen vehicles have been available to the public on the global market since 2015, the first sales in the Czech Republic have taken place this year. To date, drivers have had to rely on private providers for refueling needs.

"By 2030, we want to have hydrogen filling stands at 28 refueling stations throughout the Czech Republic and at 26 stations in Slovakia," Unipetrol spokesperson Pavel Kaidl told Lidovky.cz.

"In Litvínov and Neratovice, we plan to set up two hydrogen distribution centers and make hydrogen available for rail transportation, among other areas."

Toyota Mirai in Warsaw, Poland. Photo: iStock / Tramino
Toyota Mirai in Warsaw, Poland. Photo: iStock / Tramino

Toyota, which launched its hydrogen-powered Mirai in 2014, has sold about a dozen models in the Czech Republic over the past few months.

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"We delivered the first [Toyota Mirai] to Cylinders Holding, but a few hours later additional cars were delivered to another customer," Toyota spokesperson Martin Peleška told Lidovky.cz.

"Currently, four more are ready for operation."

Worldwide, Toyota has sold an estimated 15,600 Mirai vehicles to date. The Hyundai Nexo SUV, which launched in 2018, has become the world's top-selling hydrogen vehicle, with an estimated 16,000 vehicles sold. The hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity was launched in 2016, but discontinued this year.

Hyundai, too, plans to enter the Czech market in the near future.

"We will start selling the Nexo model on the Czech market as soon as the first public hydrogen filling station is opened," Hyundai spokesperson David Pavlíček told Lidovky.cz.

Hyundai Nexo vehicles at a refueling station in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: iStock / Julien Viry
Hyundai Nexo vehicles at a refueling station in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: iStock / Julien Viry

"So, according to current information, it should be around November or December."

The price tag of the hydrogen vehicles currently on the market are higher than electric counterparts, at up to two million crowns. But they have one competitive advantage: longer driving distances on a single tank.

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Like electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered cars operate with an electric motor. But they also contain a hydrogen fuel cell that produces its own electricity to charge the battery.

According the the Czech Republic's National Energy and Climate Plan, hydrogen vehicles will supplement fully-electric vehicles in efforts to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

While the Czech Republic currently produces 100,000 tons of hydrogen per year, the energy plan calls for that number to increase to 1.7 million tons over the next three decades.

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