A French consortium has launched a national study to analyze the potential of hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. Twenty partner members in the "Mobility Hydrogen France" group think that a hydrogen refueling infrastructure could increase deployment of electric vehicles in Europe and strengthen renewable energy production in France. The study will also look at whether this plan for a private and public infrastructure deployed between 2015 and 2030 could be economically competitive and cost effective.

The group was organized by the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and the government's Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. The strategy is to formulate coordinated deployment scenarios for fuel cell vehicles and refueling stations and to make the case for the economic benefits of going this route. Their study will be published in late 2013.

Two European hydrogen initiatives are guiding the French consortium.

Two European hydrogen initiatives are guiding the French consortium – the "H2 Mobility" initiatives in Germany and the UK and the European Union's Hydrogen for Transport Infrastructure project. There is also a draft directive working through the European Parliament and European Council that promotes the development of alternative fuels, including electricity and hydrogen.

Representatives of ITM Power, a partner in the consortium, say the project complements the battery-based electric vehicle solution in France that is aimed at reducing CO2 and pollutant emissions and lowering noise on roads. Hydrogen infrastructure could also be an alternative energy source that helps ween France off its dependency on controversial nuclear power.
Hydrogen for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles in France

Launch of a national study
Hydrogen and fuel cells could increase the potential for the deployment of electric vehicles in Europe, whilst strengthening renewable energy production capacities in regions of France. This is the shared vision of the twenty partner members of the "Mobility Hydrogen France" consortium, who have combined forces and expertise to produce an economically competitive and supported deployment plan for a private and public hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in France between 2015 and 2030, including an analysis of cost-effectiveness.

Regional, national and international, private and public stakeholders were brought together by the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells ("AFHyPaC") and supported by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, to share their knowledge and expertise in order to develop coordinated deployment scenarios for vehicles and hydrogen stations, and to emphasise the clear benefits and costs of this transition. The results will be published in late 2013.

The French approach follows on from the "H2 Mobility" initiatives in Germany and Great Britain, amongst others, and is co-funded by the stakeholders themselves and the European Union within the HIT (Hydrogen for Transport Infrastructure) framework project. The consortium has been formed in parallel to a draft European Directive to promote the development of alternative fuels such as electricity and hydrogen, which is currently being considered by the European Parliament and the European Council.

In the context of growing urbanisation, electric vehicles, whether Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), for personal, utility or for public use, represent an attractive and durable solution that allows the reduction to zero of CO2 and pollutant particle emissions, and significantly lowers noise from transport. For high power vehicles or for those making long journeys, the hydrogen and fuel cell solution complements the battery-based only solution that is currently being deployed in France.

If we want to achieve a transition to new forms of energy, especially in the area of mobility, we must focus on tomorrow's technologies. Hydrogen can revolutionise energy storage as well as transportation. This study fully contributes to the national debate on energy transition. We must accelerate the experiments in this area, the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework, and develop viable business models. The initiative of the companies that have joined the "Mobility Hydrogen France" consortium will help to contribute, through its prospective study, to the Government's efforts to develop a coherent national strategy for the development of hydrogen use.

The "Hydrogen Mobility France" initiative currently includes the following partners: Air Liquide, Alphéa Hydrogène, AREVA, CEA, CETH2, EDF, GDF SUEZ, GRTgaz, IFPEN, INEVA-CNRT, Intelligent Energy, ITM Power, Linde, Michelin, McPhy Energy, Pole Vehicle of the Future, PHyRENEES, Solvay, Symbio FCell, Tenerrdis, WH2, with the participation of experts from FCH-JU, ADEME, the CGSP (French Prime Minister Policy Planning Agency) and DGEC (Energy and Climate General Directorate). To join the consortium, contact AFHYPAC.

Hydrogen as an energy carrier at a regional level
Hydrogen can be produced, stored, transported and used in many ways: To power or recharge mobile devices, to power remote locations, to propel vehicles or electric boats, to store intermittent electricity, to increase the production of biofuels and to reduce the carbon footprint of natural gas in networks.

Implementation of hydrogen generation units at a regional level, whether producing hydrogen via electricity or natural gas, will play a key role in helping to evolve France's energy infrastructure, bringing more flexibility to match the country's needs.

Several French companies have developed expertise and products. Dozens of prototype products are currently operating in France under real-world conditions. They were developed through public-private projects supported by ADEME, OSEO, the clusters and regional funds. Industrializing these technologies and making them accessible to all is the challenge for the years ahead.

For more information: www.afhypac.org http://www.rhone-alpes.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/piles-a-hydrogene-une-filie re-d-a3007.html

Commenting on the announcement, ITM Power CEO, Dr. Graham Cooley, said: "We are very pleased to be participating in the Mobilité Hydrogène France project as a founding member. It is good to see France, a significant EU member state, taking hydrogen and fuel cells so seriously as part of its renewable energy campaign and we look forward to the development of this exciting project."

ITM Power Chairman, Professor Roger Putnam CBE, added: "We are delighted that France has joined the strong EU drive towards hydrogen mobility, now including Germany, the UK, Denmark and France. ITM Power is embedded in all of these countries."


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  • 21 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      A nice missing piece of the jigsaw. Germans and Scandinavians are certainly going to want to continue to holiday further south, so infrastructure in France is vital.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a big country, it's to be expected there will be coalitions of fools like in other countries. It's not France as such. Here in DK we also have a small group of fools who promote H2 and unfortunately capital municipality drinking the coolaid. They will issue their 200 page reports titled Does **** stink? and they will issue their nitwitted recommendations and life will go on while their foolishness passes into forgotten history. 3 times less efficient than battery cars when powered from renewable electricity is just too big a handicap and that's just one of several critical handicaps. it will never be no matter how many times clueless people mention it.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      More and more progress towards HFCVs...
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        This is just Talk.... not progress. Notice how BEV articles have become more and more about actual sales of EVs, charging infrastructure actually being build.... actual progress. Yet Hydrogen articles are the same old promises and lip service.
      archos
      • 1 Year Ago
      Decline in battery prices are expected to bring widespread adoption of EVs by or befoe 2020. Hydrogen cars will be obsolete before they are ever introduced.
        EVdriver
        • 1 Year Ago
        @archos
        No, hydrogen fool-cell cars have already been obsolete for 50 years now.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVdriver
          'The Ene-Farm scheme has steadily grown since its beginnings as a small demonstration program ten years ago and is now selling around 50,000 systems per year. Due to continued development the fuel cell systems have been optimised, reducing their size and the number of individual components. Costs have steadily decreased, also aided by the economies of scale of selling in large numbers. This has meant that financial support from the government can steadily be reduced and it is hoped this can be phased out altogether over the next few years allowing the technology to sell unsubsidised.' http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/analysis/analyst-views/2013/13-07-17-public-outreach-for-fuel-cells So IOW around as many fuel cell systems are going in as BEV cars are being produced. Most of these also used the PEM technology used in cars. If you want to characterise fuel cells as fool cells, to be even handed then you should presumably refer to batteries in equally unflattering terms.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVdriver
          Identical fuel cells to the PEMs used in cars provided by far the most reliable back up power during hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, far more so than diesels or batteries, which ran flat too soon. They are rapidly becoming the technology of choice for fork lift trucks, remote power supplies, ancillary power on aircraft and even in deoxygenating and preserving food. Seeking to dismiss fuel cells by glibly labelling them fool cells is a sign that the labeller themselves lack all their marbles in this respect. I know that Musk did so. He is selling battery cars, so perhaps it is even more dumb to quote a salesman's pitch as gospel. As for sweeping proclamations about how rapidly batteries will advance, well, we are waiting. Lots of stuff in the lab, nothing remotely approaching the system specific energy of a fuel cell including CF tank and all ancillaries. Come back when batteries have hit 1,500Wh/kg, and when you have something better than a sales pitch to back up your comments.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVdriver
          he said, "cars". PEMs used as stationary power is not even discussed here. Nobody has a problem with them. That is a straw man argument.
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought EVs were the future? (LOL) France is getting a clue? I wonder if they'll delete this comment, too. Challenging pop wisdom can get one deleted.
        EVdriver
        • 1 Day Ago
        @William
        "France is getting a clue?" On the contrary: "Hydrogen infrastructure could also be an alternative energy source that helps ween France off its dependency on controversial nuclear power." Hydrogen as an energy SOURCE??? This sentence is the ultimate proof of their cluelessness. This is just another pathetic diversion attempt of big oil/illuminati/satan/whatever. They're going to fail. :P "I thought EVs were the future?" Oh, no. Hydrogen is the future, and always will be! LOL! :)
          archos
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVdriver
          If France converts all their fire hydrants to "fuel stations" and installs water4gas converts in all their cars they can be oil free in one year!
          DaveMart
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVdriver
          You specialise in cherry picking, don't you? If you want to write off technologies on the basis of daft statements by ABG staff, then BEVs are stone dead. If you were interested in a balanced appraisal rather than polemics, from the PR you would find: 'In the context of growing urbanisation, electric vehicles, whether Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), for personal, utility or for public use, represent an attractive and durable solution that allows the reduction to zero of CO2 and pollutant particle emissions, and significantly lowers noise from transport. For high power vehicles or for those making long journeys, the hydrogen and fuel cell solution complements the battery-based only solution that is currently being deployed in France.' Batteries can't currently, or even stretching the technology, move heavy vehicles long distances. Fuel cells can. Get over it, and do try to follow the actual technologies, instead of mounting your battery only hobby horse on every occasion.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      France wanting to deploy H2 fueling station? No problem. To jump start the process France will have to dominate a H2 Czar, a Bonaparte, and a Legion of Scientists with the approval of the French cabinet, Prime Minister, and labor unions. A committee of only - Frenchmen nominated by a government agency will determine the scope, size, composition, and working hours of the H2 research team. Only after the committee returns from their one-month recreation vacation.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Levine Levine
        If you want to praise American style capitalism as opposed to French derigisme, then you would be advised to chose a different subject than transport infrastructure. But then you presumably know nothing about how that works, so your mistake is understandable.
      Electron
      • 1 Year Ago
      No doubt another exercise in letting the taxpayer foot the bill for some very expensive infrastructure with a questionable future.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Im interrested to buy a hydrogen add-on for my dodge neon 2005. As soon as a hydrogen station open in my area it will be possible. Cris m prefer to put gasoline and recharge his laptop.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      "...has launched a national study to analyze..." Notice how BEV articles have become more and more about actual sales of EVs, charging infrastructure actually being build.... you know, actual progress. Yet Hydrogen articles are the same old promises and lip service. There is no real competition at this point. FCVs and BEVs exists in two separate domains. The Real, and the Imaginary. BEVs were imaginary too just a few short years ago... but they are on the roads now... in the hands of real customers. This article, in the mean time... is not really on the same level.
        chechnya
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        What kind of electric vehicles do we have now? Expensive, overpriced performance cars or tiny, underpowered micromachines. Not to mention very few charging stations.
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