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' network currently counts close to 30 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and 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 refuelling stations in Germany and has the objective to increase this number to 100 in 2021, close to a quarter of will be under the TotalEnergies brand.
In 2013, TotalEnergies, through its subsidiary PitPoint, now TotalEnergies Gas Mobility, built the first public hydrogen station in the Netherlands for WaterstofNet at the Automotive Campus in Helmond. Since then, 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 refuelling the hydrogen fuel cell buses of public transport companies. TotalEnergies' public H2 station located in the Dutch city of Arnhem has been operational since the end of 2020. The H2 station offers 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
TotalEnergies has the ambition to operate directly or indirectly up to 150 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France by 2030. This objective was announced within the framework of the partnership between TotalEnergies and Daimler Truck for the joint development of a hydrogen ecosystem for road freight transport in Europe.
Design, Build, Operate and Maintain Mobile HRS 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 refuelling 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.
- 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 refuelling.
- Nearly two decades of practical experience in hydrogen refuelling 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.