The French automotive supplier Faurecia has been commissioned to supply high-capacity hydrogen storage tanks for the filling stations of HYmpulsion’s Zero Emission Valley (ZEV) project in France, in collaboration with Air Flow, a global rental logistics company.
The aim of the project is to put 1,200 fuel cell vehicles on the road by the end of 2024 and to install 20 hydrogen refuelling stations, three of which are equipped with electrolysers. These are then to produce hydrogen emission-free on site from renewable electricity. The three electrolysers are to be built in Clermont-Ferrand (under construction), in Grenoble and in Bourgoin-Jallieu. The latter two sites are still being developed.
HYmpulsion is a joint venture between the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the private sector players Engie, Michelin, Credit Agricole and Banque des Territoires. The project, funded by ADEME and CINEA, aims to make the region a pioneer of hydrogen mobility in France and one of the first carbon-neutral territories at European level.
In addition to the political goals of the hydrogen region, the partners from the business community also want to develop profitable business models within the framework of ZEV “that can be replicated at the European level”.
Faurecia’s H2 tanks are being developed at its R&D centres in Augsburg (Germany) and Bavans (France). The first tanks are expected to be delivered by mid-2023, according to the company, which has not yet revealed the respective size and number of tanks.
Air Flow, a global rental logistics company, will buy the hydrogen storage tanks from Faurecia and then rent them to HYmpulsion. “Air Flow has been investing in hydrogen for almost 20 years and has gained solid experience in the rental, maintenance and digitalisation of hydrogen storage and transport facilities,” says Pierre Fiat, CEO Air Flow. “We are very proud to have been selected by HYmpulsion and Faurecia to support them in their growth strategy.”
The vehicles to be used in the project will be the well-known FC cars Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo, but the majority of vehicles will be light commercial vehicles, along with a retrofit fuel cell truck with 500 kilometre range called the Rétrofit Renault T480. The light commercial vehicles include the Stellantis trio around the Opel Vivaro-e hydrogen, conversions based on a Renault Master, but also Hyvia’s fuel cell van and minibus, which are also based on Renault models.
In February last year, Faurecia agreed to supply hydrogen tanks for the new fleet of hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles that Renault launched at the end of that year. Faurecia designed and manufactured the tanks in France.