In cooperation with Honda, Hyundai, Intelligent Energy, Mercedes-Benz, Michelin, Opel, Peugeot PSA, Renault-Nissan and Toyota, Air Liquide, world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, organized the first exclusive tests in France of a dozen of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) on the Marcoussis motor racing circuit, near Paris.
To organize this unseen before event, Air Liquide gathered together most of car manufacturers and of the French sector’s players: the AFHYPAC (the French Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells), the ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency), the CEA (the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), EADS Composites Aquitaine, McPhy Energy, Michelin, OSEO (the French agency supporting innovation), the Palais de la Découverte (science museum and cultural center in Paris, France) and SymbioFCell.
These two days were the opportunity to discuss the integration of theses vehicles into sustainable mobility in France as well as their contribution to industry competitiveness. Already available, safe and efficient, this technology offers an additional solution to meet energy and environmental challenges in transportation.
Air Liquide intends to play a full part in the acceleration of and support to the development and deployment of hydrogen solutions for sustainable mobility, especially in France and Europe and allows Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) to be operated with no restraints.
Though French authorities significantly supported the hydrogen-energy sector, it is now essential to build upon these achievements to further develop these technologies nationwide, in particular for the deployment of hydrogen stations.
In consultation with the sector’s players, Air Liquide wishes that initiatives are taken in three fields.
Quantifying the needs: the Group is willing to help to conduct in France a national economic survey led up by French authorities, in partnership with the sector’s players, following the example of Germany’s initiative. The objective would be twofold: evaluate the needs in order to deploy adapted FCEVs and better define investment and employment impacts in France.
Regulation: in the short term, there are also regulatory issues as no systematic national regulation has been drawn up so far on that matter. In France, each situation is specific and requires a particular certification process. In order to deploy the related infrastructures, it is necessary to first define a national regulatory framework including certification standards (notably in terms of safety, reliability and performance) for hydrogen stations.
Accelerating investments through public/private partnerships: subject to a common willingness between authorities and the players of the whole sector. Air Liquide announced that the Group is prepared to invest in 20 hydrogen distribution stations in France and Germany by 2015.
Air Liquide also launched its Blue Hydrogen approach that aims for a gradual decarbonization of its hydrogen production dedicated to energy applications (providing power to forklifts, vehicles, remote sites, etc.). In practical terms, Air Liquide intends to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary to these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020, by combining the use of: