TotalEnergies & Air Liquide join forces on H2 refuelling for trucks
In Europe, the energy group TotalEnergies and the hydrogen gas manufacturer Air Liquide have decided to set up a joint venture to build hydrogen refuelling stations for heavy-duty vehicles in France, Benelux and Germany. The corresponding joint venture is to be established before the end of 2023.
The partners plan to build more than 100 hydrogen refuelling stations along major European road corridors in France, Benelux and Germany, but have not yet specified how or where these will be placed. The corresponding joint venture is subject to the finalisation of the relevant contracts and receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals.
The two companies’ roles are very clear: TotalEnergies will bring its “expertise in the operation and management of stations networks and the distribution of energies to B2B customers”; while Air Liquide will contribute with its expertise in technologies and its “mastery of the entire hydrogen value chain.”
Air Liquide is indeed one of the biggest players in this space. With cooperation agreements all over the globe from Europe to, North America and Australia, in mid-2020, the company already committed to creating a hydrogen corridor across Europe for 1000 trucks in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam. The target is to have 1,000 fuel cell trucks using this corridor by 2025.
The joint venture with Air Liquide follows TotalEnergie’s cooperation agreement with Daimler Truck in autumn 2021 for H2 mobility in long-haul transport. H2 Mobility is a German government-funded hydrogen filling station operator that received an investment of 110 million euros to enable its next phase of growth. The primary investor is the French finance company Hy24. The expansion goals are focused on hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles of all sizes.
The collaboration with Daimler was to provide up to 150 H2 filling stations that would be built under the direction of Total in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany.
This is where the loop between the three companies closes: At the end of 2020, Linde and Daimler Truck signed an agreement to jointly develop the next generation of liquid hydrogen refuelling technology for fuel cell trucks. Until now, TotalEnergies had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyzon Motors to evaluate and develop hydrogen refuelling and vehicle supply solutions for long-haul transport to customers across Europe. TotalEnergie, traditionally an oil firm, now appears to be not only fully committed to electric charging infrastructure but also hydrogen refuelling for trucks.
Thierry Pflimlin, President of Marketing & Services, TotalEnergies extrapolated on its hydrogen plans: “Following the recent signature of a partnership for the production of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen on our Grandpuits Zero Crude Platform, we are pleased to once again join forces with Air Liquide and continue our common efforts to decarbonise mobility.”
Matthieu Giard, Vice President and Executive Committee Member of the Air Liquide Group, supervising the Hydrogen activities, underlined: “Hydrogen offers clear benefits for heavy-duty mobility. To promote its widespread use, it is imperative to accelerate the development of refuelling infrastructures and to offer vehicle manufacturers and transport operators a sufficiently dense network of stations.” He summarised, It is precisely the ambition of this joint venture, which will benefit from the complementary expertise of Air Liquide and TotalEnergies.”