Hydrogen or H2 is an invisible, odourless and non-toxic gas that is lighter than air and easily forms compounds, which means it easily reacts with other molecules. The most commonly known compound is with oxygen: H2O, which is water. H2 is a powerful energy carrier that can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity to power vehicles, or heating systems. Driving on hydrogen is clean: no harmful substances such as pollutants and greenhouse gases are emitted from the vehicle exhaust.
Key to tomorrow´s sustainable mobility
Hydrogen vehicles are electric vehicles. Unlike conventional battery electric vehicles or EVs, hydrogen vehicles are powered by a fuel cell that converts H2 into electricity. The environmental benefits of hydrogen as a fuel, such as zero polluting tailpipe emissions, combined with the many practical advantages, such as driving comfort, make it one of the most promising alternative fuels for tomorrow's sustainable mobility, particularly in heavy transport.
Grey – blue – green hydrogen
To support the transport sector, and other hard-to-decarbonize industries, ensuring a low-carbon, clean hydrogen supply is essential. According to the World Energy Council, in its 2019 insights brief on New Hydrogen, the source of energy used and the production method define whether hydrogen is informally considered grey, blue or green; with the following definitions:
- Grey hydrogen - Currently, 96% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels via carbon intensive processes.
- Blue hydrogen - Grey hydrogen whose CO2 emitted during production is sequestered via carbon capture and storage (CCS).
- Green hydrogen - Low or zero-emission hydrogen produced using clean energy sources.
Increasing H2 market adoption
While the cost of hydrogen supply is coming down, and the urgency to lower greenhouse gas emissions has increased, many companies and local governments have begun to take measures to decarbonize their means of transportation.
The uptake of hydrogen for mobility, and in particular green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, is therefore expected to increase in the coming years. On the vehicle side, the market focus has broadened from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to heavy commercial vehicles such as trucks, and shipping vessels.
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Two decades of hydrogen experience
TotalEnergies' owned network currently counts close to 30 hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France; and the Company is developing numerous new HRS projects to prepare the market for broader hydrogen for mobility adoption.
TotalEnergies opened its first hydrogen station in Germany in 2002. Since then, it has teamed up with five other industry partners to create H2 Mobility. This joint venture currently operates more than 90 H2 refueling stations in Germany and has the objective to increase this number to 100 in 2023, close to a quarter of which are (to be) hosted under the TotalEnergies brand.
In 2013, TotalEnergies, through its former subsidiary PitPoint, now TotalEnergies Gas Mobility, built the first public hydrogen station in the Netherlands for WaterstofNet at the Automotive Campus in Helmond. In 2022, this H2 station was acquired by TotalEnergies and relocated to Veldhoven.
It has also built and still operates two private stations in the Benelux, in the Belgian city of Antwerp and in Delfzijl in the Northern Netherlands, dedicated to refueling the hydrogen fuel cell buses of public transport companies.
TotalEnergies' public H2 station located in the Dutch city of Arnhem and its public H2 station located in the Dutch city of Breda have been operational since 2020 and 2022, respectively. Both H2 stations offer hydrogen at 700 bar for passenger cars and at 350 bar for heavy duty vehicles such as buses and garbage trucks.
TotalEnergies' hydrogen for mobility ambition
Early 2023, TotalEnergies and Air Liquide announced their decision to create an equally owned joint venture to develop a network of hydrogen stations geared towards heavy duty vehicles on strategic European road corridors. The partners aim to deploy more than 100 hydrogen stations, under the TotalEnergies brand, on major roads mostly in France, Benelux and Germany in the coming years.
Design, build, operate and maintain mobile H2 stations
In 2018, TotalEnergies was commissioned by WaterstofNet to build a mobile hydrogen filling station that can be used for practical on-site demonstrations at companies in Flanders and the Netherlands.
Since 2018, TotalEnergies operates a mobile hydrogen refueling station, which it has designed and built to help the development of the fuel cell powered racing car for MissionH24. It is the world's first mobile HRS station to be deployed on race tracks to refuel a hydrogen car, during the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
MissionH24 is a collaborative project between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the engineering consultancy GreenGT that aims to create a dedicated category for hydrogen-powered electric vehicles at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans event in 2024. Its ambition is clear: accelerating research and development for this type of energy to achieve zero-emission mobility.
Textual transcript of video "MissionH24 & TotalEnergies - Powering The Future"
MissionH24 & TotalEnergies – Powering The Future
TotalEnergies, alongside Mission H24 and its partners, The Automobile Club de l’Quest, Green GT, is embracing motorsports for hydrogen-powered cars and is gearing up to compete in the 2025 24 Hours of Le Mans. The aim of the Mission H24 project is clear: speed up research and development focusing on hydrogen-powered vehicles so as to achieve zero-emission races. To succeed, GreenGT, one of the stakeholders involved in this project, has developed the LMPH2G – an incredible 100% hydrogen-powered prototype.
The car features a fuel cell, a 480-kW electric motor, a battery developed by Saft, three hydrogen tanks and a compressor. To generate electricity with a fuel cell, you need oxygen (which is present in the air) and hydrogen, which is stored in the car’s tanks. This chemical reaction between the two elements produces electricity and water. The electricity is then stored in the batteries and is used to power the electric motor, while the water is discharged into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor via the car’s exhaust system. In recent tests, the prototype came close to speeds of 300 km/h, discharging nothing but water vapor. To refuel the car on the racetracks on which it competes, TotalEnergies has designed the world’s first mobile hydrogen station.
It can be easily moved around all European racetracks that feature in the Michelin Le Mans Cup the endurance series in which the LMPH2G* is competing (Imola, Spa-Francorchamps, Le Castelet, Hungaroring, Portimao, Le Mans). *LMPH2G: “Le Mans Prototype Hydrogen Gas”
The station can be transported in a 6 x 3 m container. Hydrogen is stored in cylinders outside the station. They hydrogen cylinders are connected to the container via an entry port. Hydrogen is sent to the compressor where it is compressed and stored at 450 bar in the two intermediary tanks located in the container’s ceiling.
During refueling, an operative unhooks the nozzle dispenser and fills up the tank in exactly the same way as a motorist would at a service station. Information is shared between the car and the station via an infrared connection developed by TotalEnergies. This way, filling time can be optimized. Refueling takes less than 4 minutes. This is twice as fast as at a consumer hydrogen filling station.
Mission H24 partners: ACO, GreenGT, TotalEnergies, Michelin, Symbio, Plastic Omnium, Richard Mille, Dietsmann, Essilor.
During the video, imagery of a hydrogen fueled race car is shown speeding and refueling on a racetrack. The video also covers an animated structural overview of the engine and mobile fueling station.
- Hydrogen is a carbon-free energy carrier if produced using renewable electricity.
- Used as a vehicle fuel, hydrogen has a minimal environmental footprint with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.
- Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles offer driving comfort, wide range, and fast refueling.
- Nearly two decades of practical experience in hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
- Close to 30 hydrogen stations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and counting...
- A complete offer, from design to installation, operation and maintenance, for public and private (dedicated) hydrogen stations.