BMW April 2022

Europe is pushing the fuel key as the global race to scale up green hydrogen has begun. France’s $8.3 billion plan to use clean hydrogen in industrial processes and transport will help to cut the country’s carbon dioxide output by 2030 the annual emissions of Paris, the government said.

The race is on and the European bloc’s future energy mix is about producing clean hydrogen. Producing this clean hydrogen from water using renewable energy is currently costlier than extracting it from fossil fuels, requiring government subsidies to drive down costs.

Tenders are out for 2021 to create these clean hydrogen hubs and electrolyser factories which will target 6.5 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030. The plan is to subsidise the use of green hydrogen by refiners and chemical makers and to produce equipment like fuel cells that transform hydrogen into electricity. “Hydrogen mobility will be one of the essential components of clean mobility, complementary to electric batteries,” Florent Menegaux chairman of French tyre maker Michelin said in a statement.

France’s clean hydrogen plan will cut carbon emissions by more than six million tons by the end of the decade, the government said.

Michelin and parts supplier Faurecia reiterated a plan to invest 140 million euros by 2025 to build a hydrogen fuel-cell plant in France with a production capacity of 20 000 systems. “Production of fuel cells will start in two years time,” Menegaux said.

“Cities with a lot of traffic will develop zero-emission zones,” Menegaux reiterated. “In 2030, we will for sure have hundreds of thousands of hydrogen vehicles in Europe.”

Symbio, the name of Michelin and Faurecia’s fuel cell joint venture, aims to be a leader in the sector with a target revenue of about 1.5 billion euros by 2030. The nascent market is currently dominated by companies such as Hyundai, Toyota and Canada’s Ballard Power Systems.