Paris will eventually see 600 fuel cell taxis. The long-running project HysetCo just acquired the cab operator Slota and plans to replace its 600-vehicle diesel fleet with the Toyota Mirai gradually. They also want to install two new hydrogen filling stations this year.
The company has been on the scene. We first reported their efforts in early 2019 when Air Liquide, Idex, Société du Taxi Électrique Parisien (STEP) and Toyota launched the joint venture. Back then, they considered HysetCo a “major landmark” for hydrogen transport and also wanted to further an existing fleet of fuel cell taxis called Hype. The initial aim was for 600 FCEVs to serve Parisians by the end of 2020. This would make also make it “the largest fleet of taxis in the world using energy as a hydrogen as an energy source,” according to the CEO of Toyota France, Frank Marotte.
Fast-forward to today, and there is a slight delay, which they apparently want to address with the new acquisition. On Twitter, AirLiquide claims “target reached” – almost. Fittingly, the Slota fleet includes 600 cabs which HysetCo will replace with Toyota Mirai successively. The exact timeframe is undisclosed but looking at the initial goal, asap seems in order.
STEP president Mathieu Gardies did mention that before he pointed out the “unusual circumstances of 2020”. He then moved on to stress “the quality of our new financial partners and by the renewed support of Air Liquide.”
The acquisition has indeed been made possible by more than €80 million in new funds as new investors joined the JV. Air Liquide has also increased its commitment so that HysetCo and Hype have now raised over €100 million in investment.
Further funding for the infrastructure comes through the federal ADEME agency and the Île-de-France Region and the FCH-JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking). The first new filling station this year will be at Porte de Saint-Cloud, on a Paris City site. The company does not say how many stations are currently live. At the beginning of 2019, there were four, in Paris-Orly, Les-Loges-en-Josas, Pont de l’Alma and Roissy near Charles-de-Gaulle Airport. Overall, HysetCo plans to operate around 20 H2 stations in Paris by 2024.
The current fleet of Hype fuel cell vehicles includes 100 FCEVs. The initiative had first been set up in 2015 on the occasion of the UN COP21 in Paris.
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