Air Liquide, Idex, STEP, and Toyota create HysetCo to promote the development of hydrogen mobility

Paris, France, February 21, 2019

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[1]) 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 materializes this shared ambition to work together for the common good. There are already 100 hydrogen taxis in 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 great project brings technology, ecology, and the new economy together. All in service of reinventing taxi, one of the main mobility means."

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 electric 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."

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."   

Mathieu Gardies, President, STEP

"As part of its Environmental Challenge 2050, Toyota is striving for total complementarity of solutions with hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 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."

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."

Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director, FCH JU

Footnotes

  1. ^ The FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) is a public-private partnership that supports research, technological development, and demonstration activities in the field of energy technologies, fuel cells, and hydrogen in Europe. This infrastructure is part of the H2ME 2 project financed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking as part of subsidy agreement no.700350. This public-private partnership enjoys the support of the European Union's Horizon 2020 and FP7 research and innovation program, Hydrogen Europe, and Hydrogen Europe Research.

Air Liquide is a world leader in gas, technologies, and services for industry and healthcare. Present in 80 countries with approximately 66,000 employees, the Group serves more than 3.6 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.

Air Liquide’s ambition is to be a leader in its industry, deliver long-term performance, and contribute to a more sustainable world.  The company’s customer-centric transformation strategy aims at profitable growth over the long term. It relies on operational excellence, selective investments, open innovation and a network organization implemented by the Group worldwide. Through the commitment and inventiveness of its people, Air Liquide leverages the energy and environmental transition, changes in healthcare and digitization, and delivers greater value to all its stakeholders.

Air Liquide’s revenue amounted to €21 billion in 2018, and its solutions that protect life and the environment represented more than 40% of sales. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and belongs to the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.

Through its two businesses related to national energies and energy efficiency services, Idex group is now a key French player in the energy transition. Its purpose is to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and optimize its customers' energy bills while ensuring their comfort. As such, the group supports the construction of sustainable towns, through the promotion and distribution of renewable local energies (geothermic, biomass) and/or resource recovery (recycling waste, data center, wastewater, cogeneration), down to energy efficiency, and sustainable construction (housing, tertiary, hospitals, industrial sites, etc.). The leading medium-sized independent French energy service company, Idex generated revenue of €921 million in 2018, and has more than 100 agencies all over France with 4,000 employees, including engineers and specialized technicians.

The world's first fleet of hydrogen-powered taxis, Hype was launched in Paris in December 2015 by Société du Taxi Électrique Parisien (STEP), in partnership with Air Liquide group, joined in 2017 by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

Faced with the urgent public health issue represented by air pollution in urban environments, HYPE's ambition is to organize the massive short-term transition of on-demand transportation to zero emissions, in Paris and then in other major cities. For that, HYPE is showing the way with its own fleet (600 vehicles in Paris by the end of 2020), and with its partners it is creating the conditions for other operators to achieve zero emissions in their turn before the 2024 Olympic Games in the case of Paris.

Toyota is a major player in the global automotive industry. Present in France since 1967, the Group designs, produces, and distributes vehicles in mainland France, employing 9,000 people including 4,300 through its network of 300 Toyota and Lexus distribution sites. In 2018, Toyota France sold more than 111,000 vehicles under the two brands, of which 70% were hybrid vehicles.

Toyota has taken multiple approaches to mobility for many years in order to offer consumers environmentally friendly vehicles: Hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, etc. The group's objective is to reduce its CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050, compared to the 2010 baseline.

The Toyota Mirai has been in small-scale production in France since 2016. It was the first fuel cell sedan car in the world. As well as the "zero-emission" label, hydrogen vehicles have serious advantages compared to battery-powered electric vehicles including their greater range (550 km NEDC), and a recharging time of just 3 to 5 minutes.

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