A Honda FCX Clarity, Opel HydroGen4, Mercedes B Class Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Toyota FCHV-adv and Hyundai ix35 FCEV were all tested recently at a racetrack 15 miles outside of Paris, France. All vehicles were fueled courtesy of industrial gas company Air Liquide.
I had talked a few days ago about Air Liquide being high on hydrogen forklifts, palette trucks and other kinds of lift trucks. But this major industrial specialty gas company also sees a bright future in selling hydrogen gas especially in the European marketplace.
The five hydrogen-powered cars previously mentioned were tested on a racetrack called Circuit de Marcoussis. On this racetrack, people and companies can test everything from go karts to ATVs to hydrogen cars to racecars and all types of vehicles in-between.
This was a media event appealing to French journalists. The reporters quickly saw the value of the hydrogen cars in regard to quiet ride, zero emissions, refueling in 5 minutes and a range of 270 mile – 350 miles, depending upon the make and model of vehicle.
As of 2008, the European Hydrogen Highway had about as many hydrogen fueling stations open as the United States. Now, I believe there are a few more open in the EU than the U. S. because of the aggressive approach Europe has taken towards building out the needed infrastructure. France has 5 hydrogen fueling stations and with a little more promotion such as this media event, they will likely be building out substantially more within the next 5 years.