Categories: News

TotalEnergies and Hype will build around thirty hydrogen stations

The two French companies emerged as big winners from a call for projects from the European Union, which concerns the development of hydrogen stations in Europe, and of course in France.

If we often hear that hydrogen is the solution of the future to replace internal combustion (or even electric) cars, these ambitions are slow to materialize. It’s true, hydrogen sweeps away all the constraints of battery electric cars (BEV) in quick succession. Full of hydrogen is done in 5 minutes, autonomy easily reaches more than 600 kilometers, and hydrogen tanks weigh much less than batteries for BEV.

In France, the only models available on the market are the sedan Toyota Mirai and the SUV Hyundai Nexo. Very well thought out cars, but which for the moment have only found success with a few professional fleets, and in particular taxis/VTC. Individuals are less inclined to turn to hydrogen, and this technology is still in its infancy here. But then, what’s stuck?

An energy that does not only have advantages

It’s already the production of hydrogen in itself which is debated. The mode of production of hydrogen – very polluting – prevents for the time being the generalization of the use of this energy, for lack of having found the means of producing “green hydrogen”. Because to produce hydrogen, we use water electrolysis. An operation that consists of separating the hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atoms present in the water. An electric current is passed through water to separate the molecule and isolate the hydrogen.

That’s the problem with this process: electrolysis consumes a lot of electricity. Which comes for the moment mainly non-renewable energies. A flaw that is already hampering the ambitions of this technology. But there is also and of course the infrastructure that raises questions. Unlike gasoline or electric charging stations, hydrogen stations are very expensive to build and develop slowly. On n’en name only 31 in Francedont some reserved for professionals.

Read also :

Toyota: priority for hydrogen rather than electric?

Hyundai Nexo (2021): a new world record for the hydrogen SUV

Normandy flies to the aid of Hopium

France, new hydrogen champion?

Aware of this delay, the European Union wishes to intensify the development of stations throughout Europe. Having decided to ban heat engines in 2035, it wants in this sense push alternative fuels. In addition to electricity, hydrogen is one of its priorities. A call for projects with a total budget of €188.8 million was conducted with industry players. 26 of them have been selected to eventually build 63 hydrogen stations throughout Europe. It is TotalEnergies which wins the biggest contract, with EU funding of 26 million euros.

The French group will be responsible for developing 15 hydrogen stations in five European countries. France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. The French group Hype will develop 18 stations (18 million euros of investment) in France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. 9 additional stations will come out of the ground thanks to other selected French players. With 42 stations out of the 63 requested by the European Union, is France specializing in hydrogen?

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