SHE x TOOLjourney2020: The breakdown!

Yikes! We’ve had a fantastic first 24h of our hydrogen roadtrip #iX35fuelcell from Oslo towards San Remo, but between Hamburg & Hannover our car stopped..!

It was brought to our attention that for the first generation of Hyundai’s H2 cars, there’s a fuel cell problem when this model has been unused for a while…

No roadtrip without some unplanned surprises, and the only thing to do is keep calm and find solutions – especially when it’s Saturday afternoon/evening and you’re traveling with 2 kids And as this was the kids’ winter vacay, we’d planned to drive non-stop to South France, to ensure they got plenty open time for playing & exploring Nice.

We’ve called for NAF assistance, but realized both that service would take time, and that our route and progress needed a much more efficient solution than waiting for a garage to get the car ready..

As I’ve always had a pragmatic way of reaching out to my network, I decided to test the SoMe jungle telegraph; who could I possibly know who might have the right contacts to help us with a replacement car, so that we could continue in an actual H2 car through Europe?

We got crazy good feedback and help, people from all over Europe sharing, tagging and messaging me. Hydrogen, EV & mobility enthusiasts joining forces to help out – quite fantastic!


These people…!!! Wow!!

While waiting, I also checked EV rentals, public transportation – and ride sharing app BlaBlaCar; which I’ve used in France with great experiences.

But as the clock ticked, we were stuck by the car, and ran out of both open car rental places and train departures… The kids were cold and tired. By the time towing arrived it was 11pm, and we still needed to join to the car garage before we could go anywhere.

While waiting for the paperwork..

We finally ended up in a hotel, arriving at 1am (car broke down at 6:30’ish). And with a non-optimal rental car; a petro car… This would clearly been slightly easier if I were only to transport myself – after all I’ve been hitchhiking to loads of places; including Norwegian leading political gathering Arendalsuka before a panel with the leader of our Labor party.

With 4 people, that’s quite a different story. But on the bright side, kids were brave and behaved disturbingly well most of the time. Except for the few times trying to kill each other in the back seat of course.

Needless to say I used all the tricks in the traveling parent book; inventing stories, explaining what an amazing adventure we got, and finally the next-door McDonalds.

Happy 7y old driver in a shut down car

Sunday morning at 8am, I jogged over to SIXTH rental outside Hannover to pick up our vehicle. Quite frustrated, yet relieved that we could get going and only loose approximately 1 day.

Environmental ambition vs reality: 0-1!

Now, the ultimate challenge to resolve before Europe return trip, is to get hold of a H2 car in south France, and accomplishing the goal of crossing Europe by hydrogen. Let’s see how social media works with a slightly better deadline! Will keep you posted!