Air Liquide, Idex, Société du Taxi Électrique Parisien (STEP), and Toyota are teaming up with a joint-venture called HysetCo, the first ever company devoted to the development of hydrogen mobility in the Paris region. This collaboration represents a major landmark in the emergence of a hydrogen-based society in France and in the development of Hype, the world’s first fleet of zero-emission hydrogen-powered taxis, launched in 2015 during the COP21 and operated in Paris and throughout the Île-de-France region.
HysetCo will make it easier to roll out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and their recharging infrastructure within the Île-de-France region in order to reach the objective of 600 taxis by the end of 2020. Toyota will deliver an additional 500 Mirais by the end of 2020, which will complete the existing fleet of 100 Hype vehicles.
This joint-venture covers two activities: The distribution of hydrogen and the development of mobility-related applications; with each stakeholder bringing their own expertise within this ecosystem.
Through this project, the partners are giving a concrete form to their commitment to clean mobility and the improvement of air quality, as well as illustrating that hydrogen mobility is a suitable solution for intensive applications like passenger transportation. The organization’s mission is to promote the sector’s transition towards zero emissions, with an objective of “zero emissions for taxis/VTCs by the 2024 Paris Olympic Games”.
Hype’s fleet of taxis will also be able to rely on a wider network of charging stations, following the recent opening of a new recharging point in Roissy, near Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, which joins the existing ones (Paris-Orly, Les-Loges-en-Josas, and Pont de l’Alma). This hydrogen station in Roissy was designed and built by Air Liquide with the support of the FCH JU (Fuel Cells And Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) public-private partnership.
“Air Liquide is convinced that hydrogen is one of the keys to reducing pollution in cities. To reach this objective, all industry stakeholders (producers, distributors, mobility experts, etc.) must be aligned. The partnership we are announcing with Hype, Idex, and Toyota is the realization of this shared ambition to work together for the common good. There are already 100 hydrogen taxis on the streets of Paris using the four hydrogen recharging stations that we have built. Expanding this fleet to 600 taxis will contribute to improving the air quality in our capital by the end of 2020. This project brings technology, ecology, and the new economy together to reinvent one of the mobility sector’s most important players,” said Pierre-Étienne Franc, Vice-President for Hydrogen Energy, Air Liquide.
“As a promoter of sustainable energy efficiency, it was natural for Idex to join forces with such great partners to invest in the HysetCo project. These two things motivated us to take a stake in the company. We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will develop and that they will rapidly extend to heavy goods vehicles, due to limitations in battery storage capacity. A national player in sustainable development, Idex is convinced that hydrogen will become an important link in the energy value chain and pays particular attention to innovative technologies for the interactive storage of energy at a local level in order to maximize the value of their interaction in real time,” commented Thierry Franck de Préaumont, President, IDEX.
“For the last three years, we have shown with Hype that hydrogen is a real solution for helping essential activities like taxis to eliminate emissions, thereby effectively fighting pollution in cities like Paris. Thanks to the launch of HysetCo, and the partnership with Toyota for the next 500 Mirais before the end of 2020, we will be able to ramp up our development and prepare a comprehensive hydrogen mobility solution with our partners, which will be offered to other transport operators on a bespoke basis by 2021, so that they too can achieve zero emissions,” stated Mathieu Gardies, President, STEP.
“Our involvement in HysetCo is a decisive step in the promotion of a hydrogen society. It is also an opportunity to lay the foundations for zero-emission mobility for Paris 2024; a sort of bridge with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The delivery of the next 500 hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirais demonstrates our commitment to focus supply with an operator in one place to create a hydrogen ecosystem and improve the technology’s visibility. As well as promoting sustainable mobility for everyone, this partnership will be an opportunity for us to develop new mobility services thanks to the know-how of our subsidiary, Toyota Connected Europe,” explained Didier Gambart, President & CEO, Toyota France.
“The FCH JU is delighted to see that our support for projects has helped reach an important milestone and develop an entity designed to promote hydrogen mobility,” added Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director, FCH JU.