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Air Liquide sets up a hydrogen station in the first all-hydrogen warehouse in Europe

Prelocentre : hydrogen-powered forklifts

Air Liquide supplies and operates a hydrogen station that recharges the on-site forklifts of Prelocentre, a company based in Saint-Cyr-en-Val (France). This logistics partner, in charge of preparing and delivering fruits and vegetables to all Grand Frais stores located West of the Toulouse-Lille axis, is the first European all-hydrogen logistics platform already equipped with 46 forklifts.

Air Liquide set up a hydrogen station at the heart of the Prelocentre warehouse that enables to recharge a forklift in 3 minutes only, providing an 8-hour driving range on average. Co-financed by the FCHJU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) public-private partnership as part of the HyLIFT-Europe project, this installation aims to showcase the interest of hydrogen-powered forklifts within warehouses and airports in Europe.

Hydrogen Energy offers a sustainable alternative to legacy forklifts and meets key logistics challenges by combining increased flexibility and improved productivity. It provides an extended range for forklifts, a reduced recharging time, and increased safety for forklift operators who no longer have to handle heavy batteries.

This new implementation of hydrogen energy in Europe demonstrates this solution’s competitiveness for forklifts. The use of hydrogen for logistics platforms is already common in the United States and Canada, with over 10,000 forklifts powered with hydrogen to date.

Pierre-Etienne Franc, Vice President of advanced Business & Technologies, Air Liquide, stated:

“This hydrogen-based solution dedicated to forklifts provides the same service as legacy forklifts do, but with a significantly reduced environmental footprint as they only reject water as by-product. This roll out is in line with new clean mobility models expected by contemporary society”.

Philippe Giroux, Chairman of Prelocentre, commented:

“Thanks to this innovative technology, our teams are proud to work on the first all-hydrogen logistics site in Europe. Combined flexibility and productivity gains also benefit to our customers”.