What is the status of hydrogen-based mobility in France?

Four months on from the ambitious announcement by the French Ministry for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition to invest €100M in the deployment of Hydrogen in industry, mobility and energy sectors and make France “a world leader”, key industry players Air Liquide and Hyundai will discuss the current state of play in a panel discussion open to the public and moderated by adventurer and clean technology advocate Bertrand Piccard.

The future of mobility is one of the most frequently discussed topics in innovation and sustainability. It is widely acknowledged that there is a need for “clean mobility”, but there is no consensus around which technology to support. Today, electrical vehicles drive the majority of media and public attention and most car manufacturers are working on electric vehicles, but this remains only one part of the solution.

On June 1st 2018, the decision by the ministry of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition to dedicate €100M to the deployment of Hydrogen-based technologies demonstrated that there is a political will in France to go in this direction.

Hyundai, a pioneer in the development of this alternative energy, is the first car manufacturer to have invested heavily in hydrogen technology since 2013, and markets this technology in 17 countries, including 13 in Europe.

The second generation of fuel cell vehicles will arrive in France this fall. With an infrastructure network still embryonic, uptake remains a challenge.

Building the hydrogen economy would require annual investments of $20 to 25 billion for a total of about $280 billion until 2030. About 40% ($110 billion) of this investment would go into the production of hydrogen, about a third ($80 billion) into storage, transport, and distribution, and about a quarter ($70 billion) into product and series development and scale-up of manufacturing capacity. As things stand, the world already invests more than $1.7 trillion in energy each year, including $650 billion in oil and gas, $300 billion in renewable electricity, and more than $300 billion in the automotive industry.

On September 21st, key players in the hydrogen and mobility sector will gather to discuss the status of hydrogen in France. This debate is co-organized by Air Liquide, Hyundai and chaired by Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.

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