As a world leader, it is only natural for Air Liquide to be a trailblazer in the area of hydrogen energy. Accordingly, the Group is involved in a number of life-size demo projects that will help to move technologies forward and acquaint the general public with this new energy.
One of the main objectives of these programs is to develop the first applications of hydrogen and thereby promote the emergence of a durable market. This is happening with the rollout of hydrogen supply solutions for mobile telephony relays and in connection with the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) program coordinated by Air Liquide. Air Liquide also coordinated the HYCHAIN Project.
Another objective of these programs is to develop the hydrogen distribution infrastructures for sustainable mobility. As part of this process, Air Liquide played a major role in the rollout of a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses in Canada, used for the first time during the Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, B.C. in 2010. The Group is also developing hydrogen supply solutions for fleets of forklift trucks, and has met with success on its first two projects in North America. In addition, Air Liquide is a partner for the H2 Mobility Project, the aim of which is to develop a full-fledged hydrogen distribution infrastructure in Germany.
Working alongside many car manufacturers, Air Liquide is participating in the development of their hydrogen programs, in particular by supplying them with the filling stations they need. Air Liquide is also a longstanding partner of the annual Challenge Bibendum. These developments should enable the Group to be ready to supply hydrogen and its implementation technologies by 2015, which is when car manufacturers expect to begin selling the first hydrogen-powered vehicles. In October 2011, Air Liquide held the first tests in France on hydrogen electric vehicles. In its organization of the first-ever event of this kind, Air Liquide was able to bring together most of France’s car manufacturers and their suppliers.