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ENERGY

‘Car of the future’ to be tested in Denmark

Japanese car maker Honda has chosen Denmark as the global test country for its new hydrogen-fuelled cars.

'Car of the future' to be tested in Denmark
Honda Clarity. Photo: Foto-VDW/Depositphotos

Five families across the country will be given test versions of the cars during the next few months, reports MetroXpress.

Honda hopes that hydrogen-powered cars, along with electric and hybrid models, will form two thirds of its production by 2020, according to the report, phasing out petrol and diesel engines.

Hydrogen-powered cars are currently only available in the United States and Japan.

“The Japanese car maker Honda has chosen Denmark as a global test country for its new hydrogen car, the Honda Clarity, because Denmark is a world leader when it comes to sustainable energy and the environment,” Honda Denmark’s head press officer Thomas Larsen told MetroXpress.

The 11 hydrogen fuel stations currently located in the country also make it a good choice for the trial, Larsen added.

Denmark’s minister for climate Lars Christian Lilleholt told the MetroXpress newspaper that price and accessibility of the cars would be crucial in determining whether they become a success on the Danish market.

READ ALSO: Danes buying cars like never before

“The price and ease of refuelling the car are crucial. The current price of a hydrogen car would make it difficult for some people… But technological advances make prices better and better. I can certainly see perspectives with hydrogen,” Lilleholt said.

Although it is not yet available on the Danish market, Honda’s hydrogen car currently costs around 500,000 kroner ($75,000) in Japan and the United States. 

READ ALSO: Half of new cars in Norway now electric or hybrid

ENERGY

Could the Norwegian government introduce a cap on energy prices? 

Due to soaring prices, the Norwegian government is mulling over several solutions, including a potential price cap for electricity and limiting energy exports abroad. 

Could the Norwegian government introduce a cap on energy prices? 

High energy exports in the last 12 months, low filling levels in Norwegian reservoirs and an uncertain energy situation around Europe have led to soaring electricity prices in southern Norway. 

Last year the government introduced a scheme whereby it covers 80 percent of consumers’ energy bills where the price rose above 70 øre/kWh. The portion of the bill under 70 øre is paid in full by households. The portion the government covers will increase to 90 percent in October. 

Critics have argued that the current scheme still leaves households struggling with their bills. As a result, Norway’s government has said it is mulling its options to curb energy bills.

Norway primarily depends on hydroelectric dams to help it meet its energy needs. Still, reservoirs in southern Norway have been at the lowest level for ten years, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

Low reservoir filling over the past year has conceded with record exports with higher prices on the continent, making sending power abroad an enticing proposition.

Recently, exports have fallen significantly, and the government is considering introducing a limit to reduce the possibility of energy rationing being introduced this winter. 

“Restrictions on the export of electricity to Europe may be one of the measures that is needed,” Elisabeth Sæther, state secretary at the Ministry of Oil and Energy, told NRK. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre ruled out completely shutting off exports to the continent. 

“It is a dangerous thought and will not serve us well. It could give us more expensive power and lack of power in given situations. We will hardly be able to import power when we need it without contributing to other countries when they need it. There is a reciprocity in this,” he told the newspaper Aftenposten earlier in the week. 

Sæther also told NRK that the government was weighing up putting a maximum price on energy but warned that it could have unforeseen consequences. 

“We are afraid that a maximum price means that more water is drawn into the reservoirs, which we need for the winter. It is a serious situation. We must prevent ourselves from getting into a situation where we lack enough power this winter,” she told the broadcaster. 

At the end of May, the state-owned Statnett announced that the supply situation in Norway might be under strain – in some scenarios – all the way up to and through the winter, especially if Southern Norway experiences drier than usual weather in the second part of the year. 

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