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French Post keen to run fuel cell vehicles

July 11, 2012 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

French Post keen to run fuel cell vehicles

A consortium of nine European companies and institutes has started developing a hydrogen-driven vehicle to be used by the French Post. The activity is part of the European MobyPost research project.

Within the scope of the MobyPost project, ten vehicles powered by fuel cells will be developed and tested. The hydrogen for the fuel cells in turn will be generated through renewable energies. A prototype is scheduled to be available by the end of the current year. 

A facility for the production of the hydrogen has already been designed; it will be ready for production before the end of the year. The system will produce the 1.5 kg of hydrogen needed to run the cars. The electricity required to run the electrolysis process to produce the hydrogen is generated by a photovoltaic system. The energy management strategy of the entire system is balanced in a way to maintain a neutral energy balance throughout the year. A central aspect in the program is the economic viability; the researchers intent to use the model not only in La Poste but also in other segments. 

The Institute Pierre Vernier has assumed the function of the process coordinator. Other participants include the Université de Technologie Belfort-Montbéliard and the European Institute for Energy research. From the side of the industry, Italian motorbike maker Ducati is participating as well as MES S.A., Mahytec Sarl, and H2Nitidor S. r. l. Development and test take part at two locations in the Franche-Comté region. The partners come from France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland and represent the entire value chain from concept to test and production. The Steinbeis Europa Center for technology transfer supports the project with its expertise in project management; it also was involved in generating the business plan. 

The project is designed to run through January 2014.

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