Singapore-based HES Energy Systems is expanding to France to begin work on the first decentralised hydrogen (H2) infrastructure for autonomous fuel cell powered aerial vehicles.

The developer of high performance H2 fuel cell propulsion systems for aerial platforms said the move is part of the company’s broader goals to introduce long-range zero-emission aviation powered by renewable H2.

HES Energy Systems first introduced its range-extending propulsion technology to small drones several years ago, and the company is now evolving towards manned aerial platforms, such as flying cars and inter-urban electric aircrafts.

From its lab in Singapore, HES has spent the last ten years developing advanced ultra-light H2 propulsion systems that are up to ten times lighter than batteries. Following a number of international experiments powering small unmanned aircraft for record durations, HES’ systems are now being scaled up to power larger manned electric aircraft, potentially revolutionising aerial logistics and mobility – increasing their flight range while eliminating carbon emissions.

A subsidiary of H3 Dynamics, HES is part of the France-Singapore innovation link that continues to intensify between both countries. Last year H3 Dynamics set the tone by opening its European headquarters in Paris with the warm welcome of President Macron. HES is now following suit and joining forces with France’s world-class aerospace and H2 eco-system.

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Source: HES Energy Systems

As part of its set up in France, HES is announced its partnership with France’s leading professional unmanned aircraft builder Delair and ERGOSUP, a French start-up developing energy-efficient H2 production systems.

Derived from a broader 2016 French National Call for Projects looking to deploy H2 technologies into airport applications in Toulouse, HES’ partnership will focus on creating infrastructure around smaller-scale H2 unmanned aircraft.

“Starting with smaller scale aerial vehicles help turn bigger visions to reality faster, and reduces the challenges related to commercialising complex technology” said Taras Wankewycz, CEO of HES and parent company H3 Dynamics.

HES envisions a continental network of H2 air bases for a fleet of autonomous, long-range and electric aircraft. The joint initiative will create economic and social benefits, while starting the path to reducing carbon emissions in aviation.

“We are proud to start our initiatives in France and we look forward to bright outcomes together with our partners. This is a major step toward an exciting prospect: zero-emission aerial mobility,” Wankewycz added.

Hydrogen Council: 100% of hydrogen fuel decarbonised by 2030

Aligning well with HES’ roadmap, 50+ global leaders in the energy, transport, and industrial sectors, led by the CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide and the Chairman of Hyundai came together on 14th September to announce their landmark commitment to 100% decarbonised H2 for all mobility applications by 2030. France’s government has also launched a national H2 plan to utilise H2 across all sectors.

French Minister unveils €100m hydrogen plan