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Engie Starts France’s ‘Largest’ Hydrogen Utility Fleet

Engie, a leading wind and solar energy company in France, launched on Thursday what it named the country's "largest" fleet of hydrogen utility vehicles, as well as the "first alternative multi-fuel station" near Paris.

"Located in the heart of the International Market of Rungis [principal market of Paris mainly for food and horticultural products], this station will power a fleet of 50 hydrogen-powered Renault Kangoo Z.E. utility vehicles, recently made available for long-term rental," a press release said.

Equipped with extended hydrogen autonomy, these electric vehicles neither produce particles nor gas emissions and are further enhanced with a reduced recharge time and greater autonomy, according to the statement.

"This station has a provisional refueling capacity of 20 kg/day in hydrogen but should increase rapidly to 80 kg/day," it said, adding this scale corresponded to the immediate needs of current vehicles in the south of Paris.

The definitive installation will produce renewable hydrogen on site with an electrolyzer powered solely by renewable energy, it noted.

The whole project got financial support from a public-private partnership for fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe - European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, the company said.

Engie Cofely technicians will use the vehicles to ensure multi-technical operations and maintenance work for commercial buildings in the Ile-de-France. Part of the Engie Group, Engie Cofely is an energy and environmental efficiency services company.

With a stream of more than 25,000 vehicles per day, the Rungis Market, which offers free motorway toll to all clean vehicles that use the station for refueling, is a strategic location for the development of green mobility for freight transport in Ile-de-France, according to the statement.

"As the quality of air is a major public health issue, accelerating the development of green mobility is even more important given that the transport sector is responsible for 35 percent of the carbon emissions in France," it said.

Engie owns, through its subsidiary GNVert, more than 150 alternative fuel stations in France.

The company is also a major international actor in the recharging infrastructure market for electric vehicles, with a presence in 30 countries and 980 cities around the world.

The group established a business unit dedicated to the renewable hydrogen market at the beginning of 2018, calling it "one of the missing links needed to construct a more sustainable energy system".

(Anadolu Agency, 08/06/2018)