Service and maintenance

This LAP deals with:
• The differences in the roadworthiness inspection, service and maintenance (process and requirements) for hydrogen vehicles compared to conventional vehicles,
• The responsible authorities/independent bodies to carry out technical inspections,
• The requirements to operate a testing centre/service and maintenance company for hydrogen vehicles.


A motor vehicle service is a series of maintenance procedures carried out at a set time interval or after the vehicle has travelled a certain distance. The service intervals are specified by the vehicle manufacturer in a service schedule and some modern cars display the due date for the next service electronically on the instrument panel. Technical inspection (roadworthiness test) means an inspection designed to ensure that a vehicle is safe to be used on public roads and that it complies with required and mandatory safety and environmental characteristics.

Pan-European Assessment:

The hydrogen powered vehicles as the conventional vehicles are subject to periodic roadworthiness tests. Roadworthiness testing is a part of a wider regime ensuring that vehicles are kept in a safe and environmentally acceptable condition during their use. This regime should provide for periodic roadworthiness tests of vehicles and technical roadside inspection of commercial vehicles as well as a vehicle registration procedure allowing for the suspension of a vehicle’s authorisation to be used in road traffic where the vehicle constitutes an immediate risk to road safety.

The specific service and maintenance requirements and procedures for hydrogen powered vehicles are defined in guidelines, published by the manufacturers. In addition, at national level are issued a limited number of instructions concerning this matter.
The maintenance know-how and expertise will be developed and deployed with the growing number of vehicles and therefore no serious hurdles for service, maintenance and inspections of hydrogen powered vehicles could be identified. However, the lack of clear rules for service and inspection at present is seen as an operational barrier and regulatory gap, which might result in damages to vehicles or work accidents due to the use of inappropriate techniques.

The development of unified rules and procedures for service and inspection of the specific components of hydrogen powered vehicles such as high pressure hydrogen storage, fuel cell stacks and high voltage components by FCEV, hydrogen gas leak detection system are fundamental for the safety performance of hydrogen powered vehicles and could help to achieve a large degree of harmonisation of practice. Skilled service and testing staff and appropriate equipped inspection and maintenance facilities could increase the safety at the workplace and avoid workers' exposure to higher risks.

severity of barrier:

No data No barrier Low Medium High