Mobility, the engine of the hydrogen revolution

By ENGIE - 08 October 2021 - 10:27

In the mobility sector the hydrogen revolution is just emerging, but it is well and truly underway. The key challenge lies in making hydrogen transport widely accessible, through technological progress and a new value chain specific to this mobility solution. 


From the very start, ENGIE is getting ahead with several experimental projects on heavy mobility (HGVs, trains, ships) and intensive mobility (heavy plant utility vehicles), both in France and worldwide. Since 2019 for example, hydrogen buses in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) refuel at France’s first ever hydrogen charging station for buses. Produced from local renewable energy sources, the green fuel powers a zero-carbon fleet. In early 2020, ENGIE refuelled the first renewable hydrogen train in the Netherlands, during a pilot test which paves the way for large-scale rollout in the rail sector. 


What about heavy-duty mobility and light vehicules?

With regards to heavy-duty mobility, in 2021 the Group struck a partnership with the mining group Anglo American in South Africa. The aim is to create a supply chain to fuel a hydrogen-powered mining haul truck. But ENGIE is also fully aware of the huge potential of hydrogen mobility for individuals, as two car manufacturers launch their first light vehicles – Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo – and create the need for fast rollout of fuelling stations. Ultimately, the aviation sector will also be involved – Airbus is planning to launch its first hydrogen-powered aircraft in 2035.


Why is green hydrogen fuel revolutionary? 

Hydrogen-powered vehicles only emit water, so they are zero carbon. Even better, they can be used in a similar way to fossil fuel-powered cars: five minutes to fill up a light-duty vehicle which then has over 650 kilometres’ autonomy. This is a huge advantage, particularly for heavy mobility (trucks, cargo vessels, etc.) which is restricted in its energy transition by lack of autonomy and the weight of full-electric batteries.


The challenges ahead on the path to industrial-scale production

Producing enough green hydrogen (from renewable energy) and storing it, both on a large scale and for the long term; increasing modes of hydrogen transport and storage; installing a dedicated transport network on a large scale – ENGIE’s target is 700 km by 2030… These are all measures that will significantly bring down the costs of hydrogen, making it competitive by around 2030. ENGIE is committed to driving hydrogen mobility, through its BUs and corporate R&D centre, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, which are focusing on both technology and standards. Finally, we are committed to supplying our customers with high-quality, high-performance hydrogen, and to ensuring the safety of everyone using it. 



Did you know? It takes between 3 and 5 minutes to refuel a hydrogen-powered car.