When South Korea's President Moon Jae-In was in Paris last week on a state visit to France, he stopped by the Air Liquide hydrogen station at Place de l'Alma.



A 2019 Hyundai NEXO fuel cell SUV at a hydrogen fueling station, October 9, 2018 (Photo courtesy Hyundai)



Benoît Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, took this opportunity to reaffirm the Group's commitment to support the deployment of hydrogen infrastructure for mobility.



Potier announced the installation of four new hydrogen stations for mobility in South Korea as well as a project to build two new hydrogen stations in the Paris region. Three hydrogen stations are operational in and around Paris at Place de l'Alma, Orly Airport and Versailles.



"Hydrogen will play a major role in energy transition,"Potier said. "President Moon Jae-In's visit to our station in Paris is a strong symbol that illustrates Korea's commitment to the development of the hydrogen sector."



"Interest and international commitment to this solution is becoming increasingly important, as reflected in the momentum of the Hydrogen Council, which we created in 2017 with 13 members and which now brings together 54 of the world's largest companies," explained Potier.



Launched at the World Economic Forum 2017, in Davos, the Hydrogen Council is a global initiative of energy, transport and industry companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.



Founding members include Air Liquide, Airbus, Air Products, Cummins, EDF, Johnson Matthey, KOGAS, SINOPEC, Thyssenkrupp, AFC Energy, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Re-Fire Technology, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, and Southern California Gas. The Hydrogen Council has quadrupled in membership over the past year.



The CEOs on the Hydrogen Council plan to accelerate their investments in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors.



Hydrogen offers a way to transition from fossil fuels to clean transport, which would help to improve air quality and combat climate change.



When used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity that powers a vehicle. Running a vehicle this way releases only water vapor into the atmosphere.



Hydrogen generates no pollution at its point of use: zero greenhouse gases, zero particles, and zero noise.



It takes less than five minutes to recharge hydrogen-powered electric vehicles for a driving range of around 600 kilometers (400 miles).



Convinced that hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition, Air Liquide is a pioneer in the development of the entire value chain from production to storage, distribution and application development for end users.



The company has already designed and installed 100 hydrogen stations for mobility around the world.



But South Korea has been slower to embrace hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. About 25,500 electric vehicles are registered in South Korea, but there are only 170 hydrogen-powered vehicles currently registered here.



In June, the South Korean government and businesses announced they will invest some 2.6 trillion won (€2 billion, US$2.33 billion) over the next five years in a public-private partnership to accelerate the development of the country’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle ecosystem, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.



The goal is to install 310 hydrogen stations by 2022 to supply 16,000 fuel cell vehicles. Air Liquide will participate in implementing this plan.



The money will go into building plants for fuel cell vehicles and fuel cell stacks, manufacturing fuel cell buses and developing hydrogen storage systems.



South Korean automakers that produce fuel cell cars have a lot to gain from this policy, and they are moving to take advantage of it. Hyundai last week introduced its technologically-advanced 2019 NEXO fuel cell SUV to U.S. media at the Sunset Marquis hotel in Hollywood, California.



NEXO leads Hyundai Motor’s zero-emission vehicle plans. Hyundai Motor Group plans to introduce 38 eco-friendly models by 2025 and Hyundai Motor Company plans to introduce 18 models by 2025 - the next step for Hyundai toward realizing a cleaner environment with advanced eco-friendly vehicles.



By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)


October 22, 2018