Air Liquide installs the first hydrogen charging station in downtown Paris

December 1, 2015

On the occasion of COP21, Air Liquide is installing the first hydrogen charging station in Paris, in partnership with the Paris-based electric taxi start-up STEP (Société du Taxi Electrique Parisien), and the support of the Paris City Council. The station will be located in the heart of Paris, at Cours Albert Ier, in the Pont de l’Alma public parking lot. It will enable the deployment of “hype”, the first fleet of hydrogen-powered electric taxis serving the Greater Paris Area.

First hydrogen charging station located inside the city limits of Paris, it will serve the first hydrogen-powered electric taxis of the “hype” fleet, starting in the coming days and for several months following COP21. This hydrogen-powered vehicle fleet, initially composed of five Hyundai ix35 cars, should count around 70 vehicles within a year and several hundred within five years.

In the course of 2016, a permanent network of hydrogen charging stations, designed in particular to meet the needs of this taxi fleet, will gradually be installed in the Greater Paris Area.

The Paris station, like all the stations designed and installed by Air Liquide, is able to recharge hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in less than five minutes for an extended range of up to around 500 kilometers.

Hydrogen offers a number of advantages for clean transport. Used in a fuel cell, it combines with the oxygen in the air to produce electricity without generating any byproduct other than water, and also offers a considerably extended range capacity.

Air Liquide masters the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and from distribution to the development of applications for end users. The Group is actively participating in promoting the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy, especially for the transportation sector. To date, 75 hydrogen charging stations have already been designed and installed by Air Liquide worldwide, five of them in France. The first hydrogen charging station for a local authority in France was inaugurated in January 2015 in Saint-Lô (Normandy), for the General Council of the Manche department.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, stated: I am delighted about this partnership with the start-up STEP. This first station will allow us to promote the benefits of hydrogen as a clean energy for vehicles with consumers. Hydrogen offers a concrete solution to the challenges posed by the issue of sustainable mobility, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as local pollution in urban areas. This project further illustrates Air Liquide’s commitment to the deployment of hydrogen technologies that support both sustainable mobility and environmental protection.

Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity while releasing only water. Hydrogen can be produced from diverse sources of energy, including natural gas, but also from many renewable energy sources. This makes hydrogen one of the solutions for the supply of clean energy, while its storage capacity offers a guarantee of supply safety.

Is an Air Liquide program whose goal is to gradually decarbonize its production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications. In practical terms, Air Liquide has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary for these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020 by combining:

  • the use of renewable energies, water electrolysis, and biogas reforming,
  • the use of technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.

Even when it is produced from natural gas, hydrogen is a virtuous energy: for equal distance traveled, hydrogen cars allow to reduce GHG emissions by 20% compared with internal combustion vehicles and don’t produce any fine particles.