Why is this so interesting? Well, when you consider that most estimations say it could be another eight years before green hydrogen is cost competitive – for example, the Hydrogen Council’s Path to hydrogen competitiveness: A cost perspective report says renewable hydrogen solutions will be competitive with conventional options by 2030 in nine of the 35 use cases it studied – the fact Krogsgaard said green hydrogen has already been cost competitive for the past three years, we understandably wanted to know more.

If you’re not familiar with Everfuel, the Danish firm is focused on unlocking hydrogen at scale and describes itself as “Europe’s new integrated fuel company, providing green hydrogen for larger vehicle fleets”. Everfuel says its mission is to enable European-wide production, distribution and refuelling of 100% green hydrogen fuel at prices competitive to traditional gasoline and diesel. And Krogsgaard said Everfuel already achieved this.

“Without going into too much detail, the bus contract that we have in Heinenoord [near Rotterdam in the Netherlands], that’s hydrogen at fossil parity. As fossil costs have increased, it makes hydrogen easier,” he explained.

The deal Krogsgaard is talking about is the tender signed by Everfuel in 2020 with Dutch public transport operator Connexxion and the Province of South Holland. A statement at the time confirmed Connexxion would expand its hydrogen buses from four to 20 with Everfuel establishing a hydrogen station to supply the green hydrogen for the buses.

Everfuel is in the process of establishing that station today, which will have the capacity to accommodate 50+ fuel cell buses in a redundant set up. It can be scaled to also fuel other fuel cell vehicles such as trucks. It’s the heavier duty mobility segments Everfuel sees the most potential for hydrogen in.

“What we do in Everfuel, it’s so fundamental that we are not just chasing after battery-electric vehicles,” Krogsgaard told H2 View. “The way we try to look at hydrogen, we are looking at the 2040-2050 timeframe, the point in time where all the fossil fuel remaining will stay in the ground. What would the energy mix look like for mobility then? And how would that interlink, or not, with the energy production for heating and for electricity?

“It’s when we are at that point in time that it becomes very obvious that hydrogen has an advantage and where battery-electric vehicles have some limitations.”

© Everfuel – Hydrogen station

In 20 years’ time, Krogsgaard believes batteries will be used for “traditional” passenger vehicles, biomethane and e-methane for aviation, and ammonia for long-haul shipping. For heavy-duty and intensive transportation, it will be hydrogen.

“There are some exceptions to that. For example, with passenger vehicles, there will be some that need to run with a long distance, a lot of flexibility and need to run every day. There batteries might be a challenge because you cannot, and in the future will not, be guaranteed that you have electricity in the grid available to charge your electric vehicle every night. This is where hydrogen has an advantage,” Krogsgaard said.

“Also with ammonia, you won’t be able to use it for passenger ferries and things like that because of the safety challenges.

“So we’re looking at the end game being a European interconnected pipeline network in which we will have stations connected to this, we’ll have hydrogen distribution centres where we take gas from pipelines, compress that into trailers and drive that along. We would have all the facilities that produce hydrogen and put that into that same pipeline network, we would even import hydrogen that has been produced elsewhere on the globe.

“We are looking far ahead and trying to make sure that the pieces of the puzzle that we add now also fits in that perspective.

“At the end of the day, that’s what motivates me. That’s the reason why we started Everfuel, we can see a path. And we are so almost stubbornly continuing to prove it. There will be hiccups along the way; there will be a lot of naysayers. At the end of the day, hydrogen will have a significant portion, it has to.”

‘Walking the talk’

This visionary world of fossil-free mobility, Krogsgaard has been dreaming about for years.

“The idea of Everfuel started when I was a teenager,” he enthused to H2 View as he shared the journey the company and himself have been on.

In 2003, Krogsgaard founded a company called H2 Logic with three others. The trio worked on many different hydrogen technologies and ended up focusing on hydrogen stations. Nel acquired H2 Logic in 2015 and Krogsgaard stayed on board working as senior vice-president of Nel.

“I grew the fuelling business which ended up becoming a division we called Nel Hydrogen Solutions. We set up a factory in Denmark and subsidiaries in Korea and California,” he explained.

“We wanted to take the electrolysers and the hydrogen stations and put this into a business case that worked for our customers – those customers being oil, energy or gas companies. But none of them wanted to take the full value chain and truly make hydrogen happen. They wanted the dispensing or the production of hydrogen; no one wanted to connect the full value chain. So they ended up focusing on their part of the chain and putting too much complexity, contingency and risk in the case, and it ended up killing their business case.

“I said to the board of Nel that, ‘Now the time is right to open the door and take off the business plan for Everfuel.’ We set the company up; I came with 80% of the investment and Nel came with 20%.”

© Everfuel – Groundbreaking of Everfuel electrolyser and high-capacity station in Copenhagen

And Everfuel has achieved a lot in such a short space of time, and during a global pandemic.

“We started with five people and we started to employ the same day Covid hit. So we have grown from an organisation of five to the 63 we are currently today in a pandemic. We are global and born through Microsoft Teams! It sounds a bit weird but I think that’s actually been a great help to us and we’ve been able to run much faster with Covid,” Krogsgaard told H2 View.

“We operate mainly in Denmark and Norway. We have built stations, building more stations and we’re setting up a 20MW electrolyser. We are truly walking the talk of what we want to achieve.

“The way we see it, the technologies of the hydrogen value chain are individually mature – renewable energy, electrolysers, distribution and stations. But when you interconnect them today, they are jointly immature.

“I call them small gears, their what we need in order to connect the big gears and cut the costs and add efficiency with the purpose of getting the levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) as low as possible. That’s what we do in Everfuel, and we are adding technology pieces around the electrolysers, around trailers, and definitely around the stations, and where we interconnect our hydrogen stations with our trailers with the purpose of constantly cutting costs.”

Krogsgaard said Everfuel’s electrolyser projects are already “bankable”.

“Bankability in hydrogen is not necessarily something that goes in the same sentence. But the way we are set up, we have already managed to make our electrolyser projects bankable. That was a key for us. Now we need to prove they are bankable not just in a spreadsheet but in real life, and that’s what we are set up to do,” he said.

With 2022 shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for Everfuel, we’re watching with interest to see the company turn yesterday’s wind into today’s fuel.