In Europe, the energy group TotalEnergies and the hydrogen gas manufacturer Air Liquide have decided to set up a joint venture to build hydrogen refuelling stations for heavy-duty vehicles in France, Benelux and Germany. The corresponding joint venture is to be established before the end of 2023.
The partners plan to build more than 100 hydrogen refuelling stations along major European road corridors in France, Benelux and Germany, but have not yet specified how or where these will be placed. The corresponding joint venture is subject to the finalisation of the relevant contracts and receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.
The two companies’ roles are very clear: TotalEnergies will bring its “expertise in the operation and management of stations networks and the distribution of energies to B2B customers”; while Air Liquide will contribute with its expertise in technologies and its “mastery of the entire hydrogen value chain.”
Air Liquide is indeed one of the biggest players in this space. With cooperation agreements all over the globe from Europe to, North America and Australia, in mid-2020, the company already committed to creating a hydrogen corridor across Europe for 1000 trucks in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam. The target is to have 1,000 fuel cell trucks using this corridor by 2025.
The joint venture with Air Liquide follows TotalEnergie’s cooperation agreement with Daimler Truck in autumn 2021 for H2 mobility in long-haul transport. H2 Mobility is a German government-funded hydrogen filling station operator that received an investment of 110 million euros to enable its next phase of growth. The primary investor is the French finance company Hy24. The expansion goals are focused on hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles of all sizes.