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Air Liquide and the Chinese startup STNE (Shanghai Sinotran New Energy Automobile Operation CO., LTD.), have signed a partnership to accelerate the rollout of hydrogen-powered electric truck fleets in China. This agreement fits in with the Chinese government’s 13th five-year plan, which aims notably to support the development and sale of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles serving clean mobility.
Through this partnership, Air Liquide acquires a minority stake of around 10 million euros in the Chinese startup STNE, a hydrogen logistics platform designed for urban deliveries of goods, which currently operates a hydrogen station in Shanghai and a fleet of 500 hydrogen-powered trucks. As part of this agreement, Air Liquide will provide STNE with its expertise in the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production and storage to distribution, to accelerate the startup’s development. STNE aims to run a fleet of up to 7,500 trucks and to operate a network of around 25 hydrogen stations by 2020.
Hydrogen is an alternative that addresses the challenges of clean transportation, thus contributing to improving air quality. Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with the oxygen in the air to produce electricity, with water as the only byproduct. It does not generate any pollution at its point of use: zero greenhouse gases, zero particles and zero noise. Hydrogen brings a concrete response to the challenge of sustainable mobility and local pollution in urban areas, especially for logistics. Indeed, it takes less than seven minutes to recharge hydrogen-powered trucks, for a driving range of around 400 kilometers.
François Darchis, Senior Vice President, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, said, “We are delighted with this partnership with the startup STNE, thus contributing to the development of hydrogen solutions in China. This investment combined with Air Liquide’s industrial and technological expertise in the field of hydrogen energy, enables the Group to contribute to accelerating the rollout of concrete solutions for the energy transition in China.”
Air Liquide in China operates nearly 90 plants and employs more than 4,000 employees today. With a strong presence in the key coastal industrial areas, Air Liquide is now expanding into the center, south and west. Its main business activities include industrial and medical gas operations, Engineering & Construction (designing, manufacturing and installing air separation units/hydrogen facilities), as well as Innovation activities.
In the past 50 years, Air Liquide has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production and storage to distribution and the development of applications for end users, thus contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy source, for mobility in particular. Air Liquide has designed and installed 100 stations around the world to date.