BTA News

Blagoy Burdin of Energy Systems Institute on Bulgaria’s First Hydrogen Charging Station

In an interview for BTA, Assoc Prof Blagoy Burdin of the Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IEES-BAS) said the hydrogen charging station and hydrogen car that are part of the Integrated Energy Systems Field Laboratory 6, are the first in Bulgaria and the region. The Field Laboratory is part of the infrastructure of the HITMOBIL Centre of Competence with IEES-BAS as the leading organization.

Field Laboratory 6 and the hydrogen charging station were presented in December 2023. Burdin explained that their aim is to show hydrogen technology to society, businesses and all interested parties. The Centre of Excellence provides an expert opinion on the application of hydrogen in transport, which is of key importance in the energy sector.

Burdin explained further that hydrogen is advantageous in that it provides balance in energy production, because the energy can be stored as hydrogen and then be used to charge a car whenever the user decides. The cost of a hydrogen car is no different than that of a high-class battery electric vehicle at present, but in the coming years it will become lower, the expert believes.

Among the advantages of a hydrogen vehicle is that it needs only 4 to 5 minutes to charge and can then cover over 500 km. Another advantage is that there are no exhaust fumes, just water, Burdin noted. According to him, if enough hydrogen charging stations are built, hydrogen vehicles will surpass electric ones.

It is the problem with infrastructure that prevents hydrogen vehicles from being widely used, he told BTA. While electric cars can be charged at home, hydrogen ones needs a hydrogen station, which is a station that compresses hydrogen to the necessary bars of pressure.

According to Burdin, hydrogen vehicles should become widely used in 2031; by then, a EU regulation requires the Member States to have built the necessary infrastructure of hydrogen charging stations along Europe’s road network. Once this infrastructure is built, the development of hydrogen vehicles will become quite easier and faster.

Bulgaria is still at a very early stage of building such infrastructure, Burdin commented. However, a hydrogen roadmap has been adopted that sets a direction for its development. One of the key tasks of the HITMOBIL Centre of Excellence is to support the process of building hydrogen charging infrastructure in Bulgaria.