Air Liquide has signed a joint venture with Plug Power, a global forklift fuel cell company.

According to Air Liquide, the venture will rely on Plug Power’s GenDrive® fuel cell solution. The vehicles themselves will run on Air Liquide provided hydrogen and emit almost no greenhouse gases.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, commented, “This partnership will allow us to contribute throughout Europe to the deployment of hydrogen fleets. The forklift market prefigures the future development of the hydrogen-powered automobile market.”

Darchis added, ”Hydrogen is one of the solutions that offer a response in the short term to the challenges of sustainable mobility: reducing greenhouse gases, local pollution in our cities and dependency on oil-based fuels thus contributing to the preservation of the environment. Energy and the Environment are growth drivers for the Air Liquide Group.”

Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power Inc., was optimistic about the new partnership, he commented, “As a leading global provider of hydrogen, Air Liquide is the ideal partner to help spearhead our expansion into the European market. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with Air Liquide to bring the economic and environmental benefits of our fuel cell products to the European material handling industry.”