“Fuel cells, the future of automobiles?”

Our answer is yes!

Last week, the Figaro dedicated a full page to hydrogen mobility, posing the question: “fuel cells, the future of automobiles?”.
Let’s have a look on the key messages of this article, into which Pascal MAUBERGER, President of Afhypac and the CEO of McPhy shares his perspective on the future of this #CleanEnergy serving clean mobility.

Fight against preconceived ideas

“A hydrogen fill-up of 3 to 4 minutes allows a car to run for 500 to 600 km.”

After repeated “dieselgates”, the laws on energy transition and other climate agreements, and the latest announcements by major powers who hope to banish diesel and petrol fuels, the question seems legitimate…and the answer simple!

Even if this technology is not (yet) democratized, it should be kept in mind that the hydrogen electric car has been driven all over the world, over millions of kilometers. This represents 2 500 “fuel cell” automobiles (equipped with fuel cells) that have been sold worldwide in 2016. And the growth curve is increasing.

As Pascal MAUBERGER reminds us, for the user “the use of a fuel cell car is very similar to that of a thermal engine car.”
A 3 to 4 minute fill-up of hydrogen allows the car to run for 500 to 600 kilometers. The innovation, and not the least, is that the hydrogen automobile has the distinctive feature of only emitting a little water vapor into the air.

Renewable energies: a key factor in the success of hydrogen mobility

The technologies exist. The time has come for their industrialization, which would permit to meet the major challenges of the sector: the rationalization of car prices and the densification of the hydrogen station network, still in an embryonic state at this time (about twenty currently in service in France).

Last point, but not the least: hydrogen mobility also represents a way to stock electricity from renewable sources. This surplus clean energy (with controlled cost) could be put to use and bring a concrete solution to the intermittence of renewable energies; at the same time participating to the flexibility and the equilibrium of electricity networks.

In this equation, the renewable energies appear to be a high value-added solution.

Proof that this is a hot issue? It echoes two other news items in a Figaro supplement the same day: the opening of the Frankfort Motor Show that “honored electromobility”; and an article on China, which is “preparing the big bang for clean cars” by announcing the end of thermal engines by 2040.
Stay tuned!

Find out more on the Figaro’s website (reserved for subscribers).