Air pollution: a public health priority

Air pollution in the urban environment represents a major public health and environmental challenge. More than 100,000 premature deaths occur per year in France* due to pollution from fossil fuel combustion, and this is without accounting for the impact of fine particles linked to tyre and brake wear or the impact on the health of our children. - air pollution in urban areas is a major health and environmental issue.

Professional vehicle fleets, such as taxis and the T3P** sector in general, or else goods transport, represent essential services but are the main polluters in urban environments. Indeed, most professional vehicle fleets are still made up of polluting vehicles, which travel several hundred kilometres a day.

* Study coordinated by the universities of Harvard, London, Leicester and Birmingham, published in Environmental Research on 9 February 2021
** T3P: private public transport of people

There is an urgent need to foster the massive transition of essential fleets to zero-emission vehicles, i.e. battery electric vehicles (BEV) or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)

The battery has a more interesting energy yield, but for certain uses, the battery ecosystem does not meet the user's needs. In this case, hydrogen will be relevant. Indeed, battery electric vehicles require a significant recharging time, which is not always compatible with the constraints of intensive and random use by professionals, like urban taxis.

Hydrogen is an immediately available solution well-adapted to intensive mobility. The hydrogen-powered or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) emits neither noise nor pollution, only water vapour. It recharges in 3–5 minutes and has a range of 500 to 700 km. The hydrogen-powered vehicle can be used in the same way as a thermal vehicle and allows drivers to adopt zero-emission without changing their working practices.

Hype is actively working with car manufacturers and equipment suppliers to accelerate the industrialisation of 100% electric "hybrid" vehicles, comprising a reasonably sized rechargeable battery and a fuel cell (hydrogen) unit. This optimal solution in terms of energy and functionality can be used on both networks. The ambition is to give drivers the opportunity to choose the solution best suited to their use, while demonstrating that the transition to zero emission does not imply new operational constraints.

Scaling up hydrogen mobility

Hydrogen is an essential complement to the battery ecosystem, in order to achieve the decarbonisation of mobility and the energy transition.

Indeed, the two solutions do not pose the same challenges when scaled up. The particularity of hydrogen mobility is that it offers a strong acceleration capacity, the more volumes increase, the more competitive and the easier it is to deploy.

Conversely, with battery electric vehicles, the more volumes increase, the more difficult it becomes in terms of recharging infrastructures (especially fast recharging) or regarding the availability of battery components.

This is why it is necessary to accelerate the scaling up and synchronised deployment of both networks : hydrogen stations and charging points.

The fast structuring of the hydrogen sector in France and Europe will allow the industry to catch up with the battery ecosystem and to foster the simultaneous development of both solutions, in order to position France among the world leaders in hydrogen solutions.

Hype – a catalyst providing industrial partners with rapid and qualified feedback

By rapidly deploying a complete ecosystem on an appropriate scale, Hype's ambition is to act as a catalyst and accelerator for the various players in the hydrogen sector (existing and new entrants), to test, deploy and make their solutions reliable under the right conditions, not only on the production and distribution side but also on the usage and vehicle side.

In a co-development approach, Hype is forging industrial partnerships with leading players who have also prioritised decarbonising our societies, improving air quality and reducing noise in cities.

Hype aims to enable its partners to benefit from its unique expertise across the whole hydrogen mobility ecosystem, both in terms of the different types of vehicles and the production and distribution infrastructures. Such collaborative effort will make it possible to pool and rapidly increase the volumes of use and provide complete solutions to cities wishing to invest in hydrogen mobility.

Hype supports the French hydrogen industry

Beyond the main objectives of reducing pollution and carbon emissions, the ambition of Hype is also to decrease our dependence on hydrocarbons and increase our energy independence. By doing so, the Hype project is contributing to the rapid emergence of a French industrial zero-emission mobility offer, integrating the entire value chain. This offer will generate the creation of qualified jobs, new technologies and perspectives for exports.