ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, announces its participation in Mobilité Hydrogène France, the hydrogen infrastructure programme for France.

Hydrogen and fuel cells could increase the potential for the deployment of electric vehicles in Europe, whilst strengthening renewable energy production capacities in regions of France. This is the shared vision of the twenty partner members of the “Mobility Hydrogen France” consortium, who have combined forces and expertise to produce an economically competitive and supported deployment plan for a private and public hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in France between 2015 and 2030, including an analysis of cost-effectiveness.

Regional, national and international, private and public stakeholders were brought together by the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (“AFHyPaC”) and supported by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, to share their knowledge and expertise in order to develop coordinated deployment scenarios for vehicles and hydrogen stations, and to emphasise the clear benefits and costs of this transition. The results will be published in late 2013.

The French approach follows on from the “H2 Mobility” initiatives in Germany and Great Britain, amongst others, and is co-funded by the stakeholders themselves and the European Union within the HIT (Hydrogen for Transport Infrastructure) framework project. The consortium has been formed in parallel to a draft European Directive to promote the development of alternative fuels such as electricity and hydrogen, which is currently being considered by the European Parliament and the European Council.

In the context of growing urbanisation, electric vehicles, whether Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), for personal, utility or for public use, represent an attractive and durable solution that allows the reduction to zero of CO2 and pollutant particle emissions, and significantly lowers noise from transport. For high power vehicles or for those making long journeys, the hydrogen and fuel cell solution complements the battery-based only solution that is currently being deployed in France.

If we want to achieve a transition to new forms of energy, especially in the area of mobility, we must focus on tomorrow’s technologies. Hydrogen can revolutionise energy storage as well as transportation. This study fully contributes to the national debate on energy transition. We must accelerate the experiments in this area, the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework, and develop viable business models. The initiative of the companies that have joined the “Mobility Hydrogen France” consortium will help to contribute, through its prospective study, to the Government’s efforts to develop a coherent national strategy for the development of hydrogen use.