I’ve talked about Air Liquide before as a major hydrogen gas supplier that is already making money in the emerging fuel cell vehicle marketplace. According to the Houston Chronicle, Air Liquide is high on fuel cell forklifts for the near future and other types of hydrogen-powered vehicles for the long run.
According to the Chronicle, “In 2010, the company started supplying hydrogen to Wal-Mart Stores, which opened a distribution center near Calgary, Alberta, with the goal of making the facility 60 percent more energy efficient than its traditional warehouses.
“The mega-retailer equipped the supply center with 82 fuel-cell forklifts and called on Air Liquide to provide the hydrogen power and infrastructure to keep the forklifts operating. That technology has made the distribution center more cost-efficient than others, said Virginia Garbutt, logistics director for Walmart Canada … Coca-Cola signed on, too. Air Liquide is slated to supply the beverage company’s San Leandro, Calif., distribution and bottling plant, where 37 forklifts and 19 pallet jacks will start operating on hydrogen fuel-cell technology this year.”
Over the past 5 or so years I’ve heard a lot of hydrogen delayers and deniers state that there will never be a market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and investing in such is a waste of money. Hydrogen fuel cell forklifts are now a reality and the manufacturers of such are making money.
Air Liquide and other industrial hydrogen gas manufacturers are also making money supplying this industry that was never supposed to exist. And as more types of fuel cell vehicles become mainstreamed there will be even more money to be made. Delaying and denying won’t stop this process or progress. And there will be a lot of crow to be eaten as progress continues.