Italy Italy

IPHE Country Update: May 2017

Name: Angelo Moreno (IPHE Representative), Antonino Salvatore Aricò (SRG Representative)
Contact Information: For Angelo Moreno:,
For Antonino Salvatore Aricò:
Covered Period:
May 2016 – May 2017

New Policy Initiatives on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell (Read more)

Report on the introduction of new policy initiatives on FCHs:

  1. Decree from Italian Government (DLGS December 16, 2017 n. 257concerning the acceptance of the EU decree 2014/94/UE issued October 22, 2014 on the “Deployment of Alternative fuel infrastructure”.
  2. The decree contains four Strategic frameworks for sustainable mobility:
    1. Electric mobility
    2. Compressed Gas for autotraction / LPG
    3. LNG for cars and marine applications
    4. Hydrogen

    Regarding hydrogen, main points of this national plan are:

    • Captive fleets approach:
      • Balanced design of vehicle fleets/end users and required infrastructures (hydrogen refuelling stations).
      • Sustainable grade of utilization of refuelling infrastructure.
    • Stage approach:
      • 2020-2022: small fleets (up to 109 cars and 11 buses) with small size hydrogen refuelling stations
      • 2023-2025: big fleets (up to 229 cars and 29 buses) with higher size hydrogen refuelling stations
    • TEN-T Corridors have been considered in designing the possible network of hydrogen refuelling stations

  3. Approval with the above mentioned decree of the National Plan for the development of H2 infrastructures for FCEV.
  4. Acceptance with the same decree of European standards, which means the acceptance of 350 bar and 700 bar HRS. The standard about distances and other characteristic of HRS are in discussion.
  5. A Report on the long-term strategy (2030) for sustainable transport and a vision up to 2050 will be tabled May 30, 2017. This report is based on the work of a national working group driven by the government of Italy. H2 and FCEV are officially part of this strategy and vision
  6. In May 2017, the Italian association of all Italian municipalities (more than 8,000) named ANCI launched a working group to establish the guide lines that should help the Italian municipalities put into practice the activities for sustainable transport.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell R&D Update (Read more)   

There has been significant progress in numerous research and demonstration projects. The FCH JU funded most of these projects with some funded by Structural Funds (PON). Below are a few examples.

In particular, in the framework of the FCH JU:

  • Electrohypem project on PEM electrolyser development achieved significant progress in efficiency targets i.e. energy consumption 3.6 kWh/Nm3 H2 at a current density of 1 A cm-2 (~77% vs. LHV), performance of 3.2 A cm-2 at 1.8 V.
  • Duramet project achieved a power density of ~200 mW cm-2 for direct methanol fuel cells used in auxiliary power units.
  • CoMETHy project on Solar Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) achieved a reduction of CO2 emissions by 38-53% with respect to the traditional route.
  • SOFCOM and DEMOSOFC projects demonstrated a 53% conversion of the primary fuel in high value electric power and 46% of the primary fuel converted in low-grade heat flow in CHP systems based on SOFCs. These were fed by different typologies of biogenous primary fuels (biogas and bio-syngas, locally produced) integrated by a process for the CO2 separation from the exhaust gases.
  • HEALTH-CODE project developed advanced monitoring and diagnostic tools for μ-CHP and backup PEM fuel cell systems to support stack failures detection and to infer the residual useful lifetime.
  • NELLHI project dealing with stack design for mass production demonstrated low degradation for high temperature stacks (1%/1000h).
  • BioROBUR project developed cost-effective advanced fuel processors delivering 99.9% hydrogen from different biogas types (landfill gas, anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, and anaerobic digestion of wastewater-treatment sludges).

These are just a few examples of the recent R&D achievements in this field in projects coordinated by Italian organisations. Demonstration and deployment activities are reported separately in the following section.

Demonstration and Deployments Update (Read more)

  1. Case study–Bolzano –Hydrogen Centre and Refuelling Station:
    • On Site Hydrogen Production from renewable energy
    • Hydrogen Production Capacity: 400 kg/day
    • More than 1,000,000 km achieved by H2 buses and H2 cars as of 1st of March 2017
    • Reduction of air pollution:
      • 877.000 kg CO2
      • 7.734 kg NOX
      • 13,27 kg PM10
      • Number of H2 Refuellings:
        • Public transport buses: 2,857 (53,902 kg H2)
        • Private cars: 1,481 (4,085 kg H2)
      • Availability of H2 Refuelling Station: >99%
      • Availability of H2 buses: >96-98% since 3 years
  2. Riviera project: within the structure of the EU funded project named “High V.LO-City”, Liguria Region has bought 3 H2 buses (originally planned for 5) with the HRS under construction.
  3. Lazio region, 3Emotion EU funded Project: ATAC, the public transport company of Rome has issued a call for tender for 5 H2 FC buses. An HRS is already existing but needs to be repowered in order to be able to deliver at least 150 kg H2 per day
  4. HPIC (Hydrogen Electric Passenger VeniCe boat): funded by Veneto region and Environment Ministry. Pilot hybrid (i.e., batteries and FC) ship owned by AliLaguna Company to transfer passengers from Venice Airport to Piazza San Marco. The boat (40 passengers) was launched at the end of 2016.
  5. I-NEXT Project (PON Structural Funds): Demonstration of Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Minibus Capo D’Orlando (Sicily) with seating capacity of 17, using a fuel cell as a range extender. This minibus is providing specific public transport service in the Nebrodi area.
  6. SHIP PROJECTS: “GREENSHIP” and “TESEO” (PON Structural funds): these projects assessed fuel cells and auxiliaries systems for marine applications. The Green-ship project simulated marine critical conditions in a “Dry Corrosion Test Cabinet” and implemented different acceleration tests. TESEO carried out field tests.
  7. “BHYKE” project: dealing with 250W fuel cell bicycle using a hydrogen solid-state storage cylinder of 900 Sl at 12 bar and covering a range of 130-150 km.
  8. H-BUS project (Law 297 MIUR FAR funds): compared two different levels of powertrain hybridization (batteries and fuel cells) in a fuel cell minibus. Field tests were carried out in Messina at the CNR-ITAE.

At the present, there are at least five sites for HRS in Bolzano, Milano, Mantova, Liguria and Sicily. There are plans to demonstrate additional hydrogen buses (>15) based on recently approved demonstration projects.

Some key near-term strategies planned by the stakeholders include:

  • Marketing of the fuel cell-based vehicles starting from mini-buses;
  • Powertrain composed by integrated technologies (electric motor, batteries, fuel cells, supercaps, etc.);
  • Fuel cells used as “range extenders”: increase the range of traditional electric vehicles (in terms of km or hours);
  • Lowering fuel cell power by a reduction of the stack size with a lower cost for the hydrogen storage on-board; and,
  • Lowering costs for fleet investment and management.

Events and Solicitations (Read more)

Specific hydrogen and fuel cell conferences:

  • EFC2017 Piero Lunghi Conference & Exibition, Naples December 12-15, 2017. Toyota and Hyundai cars will be present and available for the public to drive. Organizers are working on having other H2&FC vehicles available such as city cars, bicycles, and motorcycles.
  • HYPOTHESIS XII HYdrogen POwer THeoretical and Engineering Solutions International Symposium. Syracuse, Sicily June 28-30, 2017 Conference

Investments: Government and Collaborative Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Funding (Read more)  

Government funding for activities directly related to FCH have essentially focused on the Structural funds-supported projects as mentioned above. FCH JU provided significant support for a variety of projects, as referenced above.

Government measures planned in the coming years to achieve the targets reported in the National Hydrogen Implementation Plan (DAFI) fall into five categories:

  1. Legal measures and administrative regulations to support the implementation of the infrastructure for alternative fuels;
  2. Strategic measures: Incentives for the purchase of vehicles powered by alternative fuels and for building infrastructure including technical and administrative procedures and legislation regarding the authorization processes;
  3. Research and development programs;
  4. Policy measures: Hydrogen as an alternative fuel should be taken into account in drawing up the strategic plans prepared by all the regional and the local authorities; and,
  5. Communication measures: Promoting the awareness of the technical and safety features of alternative fuels.

Regulations, Codes & Standards Update (


Data Table (






Ministry of the Environment

Member Statements

Member Statements (Read more) - Last updated May 2015

Canada is recognized internationally as a global leader in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development and early stage commercialization.  Canada is a large producer and user of hydrogen and home to a significant concentration of hydrogen fuel cell expertise.  Canada’s industry is diverse and is representative of all elements within the supply chain from hydrogen manufacturing to fuel cell integrators.

Largely consisting of small and medium sized enterprises and research organizations across the country, the sector is supported by a well-educated labour force with advanced skills – key ingredients in building Canada’s knowledge economy.  Canadian companies have established a competitive global position resulting from years of research, development and demonstration activities.  The largest cluster of hydrogen and fuel cell companies in Canada is located in British Columbia.  Other clusters are located in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

Canada’s program targets four areas area sustainable hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and safety, codes and standards.  

Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen’s value as an energy carrier stems from the wide base of primary energy sources which can be employed to produce it. These include both renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar and biomass, and non-renewable sources such as natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.     

Historically, Canada’s main thrust of past investments has been in hydrogen production via water electrolysis with special emphasis on systems for hydrogen production from wind. A considerable amount of R&D was carried out to address hydrogen production from low-value materials such as hydrogen sulphide and from coal or petroleum coke via the steam/iron process (a technology for centralized hydrogen production allowing easier carbon capture).  Smaller program elements included purification and separation. Activities have steered away from technologies which are being developed extensively in other countries and for which there was not a unique Canadian capability.  Recently, and going forward, Canada’s activities have focussed almost exclusively on electrolytic hydrogen production using PEM technology.

Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the deployment of fuel cell technologies in stationary, portable, and transportation applications.  The challenge for most end-uses is reversible, lower cost hydrogen storage systems with high volumetric and gravimetric hydrogen storage capacities. For transportation, the overarching technical challenge for hydrogen storage is how to store hydrogen on-board to meet performance (weight, volume, kinetics, etc.) safety and cost requirements and enable 300 +mile range, without compromising passenger/cargo space. Durability over the performance lifetime of these systems must also be verified and validated, and acceptable refueling times must be achieved.

Canada’s past investments have been in development of compressed, liquid and solid-state hydrogen storage systems.

Fuel Cells

Canada has been developing fuel cell technologies for transportation, stationary, and portable applications for over 30 years.  For transportation, stationary power generation (e.g., energy systems, back-up power), and portable devices, the focus is on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. For larger-scale energy generation, the focus is on the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which can, in some cases, directly use natural gas or other hydrocarbons as fuels. 

Codes, Standards and Safety

The successful global commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells depends on internationally accepted codes and standards. These will help to increase the experience, knowledge and confidence of local, regional, and national officials in the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and facilitate the development of regulations. R&D supports the development of performance-based, rather than product-specific, codes and standards. 

International collaboration in this area is essential.  Canada has played a leading role as chair of the ISO Technical Committee 197 (Hydrogen Technologies) and as a strong contributor to the IEA Hydrogen Implementing Agreement Task 19. Task 19 participants have been working to identify the physical properties of hydrogen which impact the issue of safety. 

Canada has also developed the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code.   Published by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) as a National Standard of Canada, the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC) [CAN/BNQ 1784-000] will help pave the way for a greater use of hydrogen as an energy carrier by guiding safe design and facilitating the approval process of hydrogen installations across Canada.

The following are examples of significant accomplishments that are helping to build Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry. Demonstration projects in Canada and other IPHE partner countries are featured on Canada's Demonstration & Deployment page.

Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap

In 2003, Canada released its first commercialization roadmap. The roadmap was aimed at accelerating full-scale commercialization of Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to capture benefits from substantial industrial investments in research and development and to develop long-term solutions to meet Canada’s climate change goals. In 2008, Canada updated the Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap. The update begins by outlining why hydrogen and fuel cells are considered an essential part of the future low carbon energy systems for transportation and stationary power as well as an energy innovation in portable electronics. It continues by providing an overview of global hydrogen and fuel cell markets as background and context for the activities of the Canadian industry.

Hydrogen Village

The Hydrogen Village in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was a public/private partnership demonstrating and deploying various hydrogen production and delivery techniques as well as fuel cells for stationary, transportation (mobile) and portable applications. The program, was funded by Hydrogen Village Members, Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Ontario, was in operation from April 2004 to March 2008.

Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program

car imagehe Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program was a collaborative five-year vehicle deployment and evaluation activity involving the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Ford Motor Company USA, Ford Motor Company of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. The program, for the first time, put limited production fuel-cell-powered electric drive vehicles into the hands of selected Canadian users for independent operation and evaluation under real-world conditions. Located in the British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, the vehicle demonstration program began in April 2005 and sunset in March 2010. Vehicle users included Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Ballard Power Systems, BC Hydro, BC Transit, Brown Bros. Ford, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, City of Vancouver, City of Surrey and Powertech Labs.

Hydrogen Highway

The British Columbia Hydrogen Highway (HH) was launched in March 2004 as a large-scale, coordinated demonstration and deployment program for mobile, stationary, portable, and micro hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Projects under the HH umbrella included: the Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project located in North Vancouver; BC Transit operated hydrogen fuelling station in Victoria; Powertech Labs station in Surrey; Pacific Spirit Station in Vancouver; and, the Whistler station to support the 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses that were operated by BC Transit during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games until the end of March, 2014.

The HH received one of the first "Sustainability Stars" recognizing sustainability innovations in economic, social and environmental initiatives awarded by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway

In early 2008, a technology demonstration and exhibit centre showcasing Canada's world-leading hydrogen and fuel cell industry was officially opened. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway was located at the National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation in Vancouver, and was conceived through a public-private partnership between the NRC, Natural Resources Canada, Industry Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Canadian Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association. 

2010 Olympics – First Bus Delivered as part of World’s Largest Development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses

The first of 20 buses were delivered and successfully tested as part of the world largest hybrid electric fuel cell bus fleet. The bus was part of BC Transit’s project to demonstrate sustainable transportation technologies for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, B.C. The twenty new hybrid electric fuel cell buses and two Hydrogen Highway fuelling stations were put into service in 2010 at Whistler, Vancouver and Victoria. The low-floor buses capabilities include of 500 km, a top speed of 90 km/h and a life expectancy of 20 years. They were the sixth generation of a fuel cell buses developed in Canada. Several Canadian companies were involved in this project such as Ballard Power Systems, Dynetek Industries, Hydrogenics Corporation, New Flyer Industries, Questair Technologies, Air Liquide Canada, and Sacre-Davey Engineering.

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory is a free public on-line database of information on researchers and facilities in Canada. The purpose of the Research Directory is to increase the visibility, researcher collaboration and use of Canadian research and laboratory services in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.   See:

Establishment of AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation

AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation (AFCC) is a private Vancouver-based automotive fuel cell technology company founded in 2008 and owned 50.1% by Daimler AG and 49.9% by Ford.  AFCC was created to focus on fuel cell research, development and design specifically for automotive applications. AFCC is working closely with Daimler and Ford to advance automotive fuel cell technology.

Establishment of the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Manufacturing Facility

In 2011, Daimler announced that Vancouver, Canada had been selected at the location of choice for the establishment of an automated fuel cell stack (engine) manufacturing facility which was named Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC).   MBFC was opened in June 2012 and it’s mandate is to determine how to manufacture FC stacks, on an industrial scale, at an affordable price.



Canada has been involved in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for over three decades.  Canada is well positioned to be a leading developer and adopter of these technologies for two main reasons.  Firstly, Canada is the largest per capita producer of hydrogen in the OECD, producing approximately 3 million tonnes annually.  Secondly, Canada is a world leader in the development of fuel cell technologies and hydrogen infrastructure systems.  

Over the past several years, Canadian governments, industry and academia have worked together to demonstrate a number of Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.  Such as:

The Hydrogen Highway and the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Programs - in the province of British Columbia (BC)

These initiatives involved the development of a network of hydrogen fueling stations, a number of FC vehicles, hydrogen powered internal combustion engine trucks, FC buses and also showcased several stationary, portable and micro fuel cell applications throughout British Columbia’s south western region.

BC Transit Fuel Cell Buses - in the province of BC

Hydrogen fuel cell buses produce no harmful emissions or greenhouse gases. At maturity, life cycle costs for fuel cell buses are expected to be lower than today's conventional buses. The purchase of these fuel cell buses and hydrogen fuel reinforced BC's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Results from past tests of fuel-cell-powered transit buses are valuable, but the tests were restricted to small numbers of buses at any particular location. BC Transit was be the first to fully integrate an entire hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet into a transit system and their usage provided valuable information and data to the industry.

Hydrogen Villiage in the province of Ontario (ON)

The goal of Hydrogen Village was to raise awareness and break down barriers to markets for hydrogen, fuel cell, and other relevant technologies within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village – in the province of Prince Edward Island (PEI)

The PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village project was being developed in North Cape, Prince Edward Island as a unique grid-independent energy supply solution for remote communities.  The system is designed to operate on the basis that when the wind is blowing, wind turbines supply power to connected buildings as well as a hydrogen production, compression and storage system.  When there is low or no wind conditions, the stored hydrogen is used to fuel a hydrogen engine generator that keeps electricity flowing to the buildings.  The PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village was intended to demonstrate an effective and sustainable means for addressing the intermittency of wind power in stand-alone applications.  Hydrogen produced from local wind and water is a truly clean and renewable energy carrier with potential for reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels for stationary power and transportation applications.


Total of 16 hydrogen filling stations

Station Capacity Dispensing Pressure Production Method
North Vancouver, British Columbia (Northlands Station)
Storage at 45MPa: 250kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia (Translink)
Storage at 45MPa: 120kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Surrey, British Columbia (Powertech Labs)
Storage at
45MPa: 60kg
Storage at 85MPa: 60kg
35/70 MPa
On-site Electrolysis (24kg/d)
Surrey, British Columbia (70 MPa mobile trailer)
Storage at 85MPa: 60kg
70 MPa
Surrey, British Columbia (25 MPa mobile trailer)
Storage at 25MPa: 80kg
25 MPa
Vancouver, British Columbia (Pacific Spirit Station)
Storage at 45MPa: 67kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Victoria, British Columbia)
Storage: 40kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Whistler, British Columbia (2009)
Liquid Storage: 5500kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Storage at 45MPa: 24kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Ottawa, Ontario (Natural Resources Canada)
Storage at 45MPa: 60kg
35 MPa
Oshawa, Ontario (General Motors)
Storage at 45MPa: 60kg
35 MPa
Toronto, Ontario (Purolator)
35 MPa
On-site Electrolysis
Toronto, Ontario (North Toronto Station)
Storage: 140kg
17 MPa
Toronto, Ontario (Exhibition Place)
35 MPa
On-site Electrolysis
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Storage at 45Mpa: 30kg
35 MPa
Wind-powered Electrolysis
North Cape, Prince Edward Island (2009)
Storage at 45MPa: 15kg
35 MPa
Wind-powered Electrolysis



  • 5 fuel cell vehicles in Vancouver and Victoria
  • 4 dual-fuel pick-up trucks (ICE) in Saskatoon
  • 8 hydrogen internal combustion engine ICE pick-up trucks in Vancouver

Hydrogen Buses

  • 20 fuel cell buses in Whistler (2009)
  • 10 hydrogen internal combustion shuttle buses: Ottawa, 3; Vancouver, 2; Toronto, 3; and Charlottetown, 2
  • 4 hydrogen/compressed natural gas (20% hydrogen by volume) transit buses in Vancouver


  • 5-kW solid oxide fuel cell at the National Research Council in Vancouver; designed to provide electricity and heat for the institute's building
  • 150-kW PEM stationary fuel cell for heat and power at Easy Wash car wash in North Vancouver
  • 20-kW fuel cell backup power system located in an office in an 80 year old building in downtown Toronto
  • 200-kW phosphoric acid fuel cell located at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta; providing heat and power for a swimming pool complex and used as a teaching tool
  • 1.2-MW molten carbonate fuel cell located at Enbridge in Toronto (In addition to the fuel cell, the power plant includes a 1.0-MW unfired gas expansion turbine (turbo-expander) that recovers pressure energy lost during natural gas pipeline operations.)
  • 8-kW fuel cell backup power system located at McKesson, Canada in Toronto


  • 19 fuel cell forklifts in Oshawa