Ten hydrogen-powered pedelecs with a Brose e-bike drive are now in use at a hospital in French Saint-Lô. Maker Pragma Industries claims the fleet to be a world’s first and has lined up additional orders.
It is not the first hydrogen bicycle in the world as the likes of Linde have already showcased similar vehicles and also deployed them in Singapore for example (we reported). However, Pragma Industries may indeed be alone in its endeavour to bring such fuel cell electric bicycles to a wider range of users.
The staff at the Saint-Lô hospital for example will have to share the bikes with tourist during the summer season. All will be able to charge the pedelecs with hydrogen on site dispensed from a charging stations developed by Atawey.
Pragma’s sales manager Christophe Bruniau told Le Monde that they “are being bombarded with requests,” with interest from Denmark and Germany as well as across France. In concrete terms the Biarritz-based Pragma Industries has sent another 10 H2-bikes to Cherbourg, where they will be used from Spring 2018 only since a H2 filling station first needs to be set up. 40 more hydrogen pedelecs in total will be delivered to Chambéry, Ariège, and the communauté d’agglomération Pays basque.
Each hydrogen pedelec weighs 25 kilos and can be recharged in less than two minutes for a range of about 100 kilometres. The electric drive system comes from Brose and power is stored inside a 2-litre hydrogen tank. On its website, Pragma speaks of a 150 Watt fuel cell and an additional 150 Wh Li-ion battery as “bridging energy.”
The hydrogen bicycles incur a cost of 7,500 euros at the moment but the company hopes to cut the price to 3,500 euros by 2020. At Saint-Lô, funding for both the bike fleet and the hydrogen filling station was met by the Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie, while local authorities covered the rest.