The Auvergne Rhône Alpes (AuRA) regional Council has together with other French participants has set about deploying the largest renewable hydrogen mobility project in France, called Zero Emission Valley (ZEV). The first stone of the first hydrogen station, installed in Chambéry by ENGIE Cofely, has just been laid and opening is planned for November this year.
Mobility is one of the major challenges of the zero carbon transition. Transport is responsible for 30% of CO2 emissions in France, while mobility needs are growing. It is thus crucial to develop solutions for cleaner sustainable mobility.
In May, France’s Ministry of Ecological and Social Transition and the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe) determined the ZEV hydrogen mobility project was eligible for public financial support. This project, in which the participants are AuRA, Michelin and ENGIE groups, the Banque des Territoires and the Crédit Agricole, is managed by newly formed and jointly owned company Hympulsion.
Hympulsion is now operational and will accelerate the deployment of ZEV. Co-financed by European funds, this project aims to offer vehicles and renewable hydrogen at an overall cost comparable to that of diesel. ZEV will see the introduction of 1,000 fuel cell cars, 20 hydrogen charging stations and 15 electrolysers to produce hydrogen without CO2 emissions. (At present, hydrogen is produced centrally on less than a dozen sites across France.)
The next station will be launched at the end of August, in Clermont-Ferrand. A network of stations is crucial in sustainable mobility and must be sufficiently numerous and strategically placed to meet the needs of users of zero emission vehicles . The 20 stations of the ZEV will eventually cover a large area.
A major player in the hydrogen sector in France, ENGIE Cofely, through its subsidiary GNVert, is participating in the project by building the hydrogen stations. ENGIE and ENGIE Cofely have also committed to acquire more than 10 hydrogen vehicles for their activities around Chambéry.