The ZEV project, launched in 2017, aims to develop a profitable and sustainable carbon-free mobility chain across the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, on the one hand by simultaneously deploying green hydrogen production, storage and distribution infrastructure and, on the other, by making hydrogen vehicles available.
This project is being led by HYmpulsion, whose shareholders are the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region, Engie, Michelin, Crédit Agricole and Banque des Territoires.
Its goal is to make Auvergne-Rhône Alpes one of the first carbon-neutral areas in Europe and it has been selected for funding under the European Commission’s 2017 Transport Blending Call.
By mid-2025, Lhyfe plans to build a green hydrogen production facility with a production capacity of two tonnes per day (5 MW) in Le Cheylas (between Grenoble and Chambéry), on the former waste storage site of the Ascométal steelworks.
In doing so, Lhyfe will help to re-industialise the area and ensure the transition of the local economy to a more sustainable model. The hydrogen will be produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity.
This site will meet the needs of seven of Hympulsion’s hydrogen stations in the Alps, supplying for a ten-year period an annual volume of 600 tonnes (equivalent to approximately 1.6 tonnes per day, after a ramping-up period).
It will also meet the needs of local industrial companies, seeking a replacement for fossil derived hydrogen or natural gas.
Through this partnership, Lhyfe and HYmpulsion aim to promote the development of clean mobility and improved air quality in the Alpine valleys.
Thierry Raevel, chairman of HYmpulsion and regional director for ENGIE said: “Beyond the national challenges of security of energy supply, hydrogen responds to a triple challenge for our region: decarbonisation of light and heavy mobility, improvement of air quality in our valleys, and local job creation.
“We are proud to enter into this partnership with Lhyfe for the production of renewable hydrogen. This project will provide a supply for the Hympulsion stations, in addition to the hydrogen from our 2MW electrolyser (approximately 800kg of hydrogen a day)”.
Matthieu Guesné, founder and CEO of Lhyfe said: “The project of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is ambitious and on a par with the challenges of energy transition.
“We are proud to be part of its deployment and to be contributing very concretely to the development of clean mobility in the region. This partnership also confirms our ability to make a long-term commitment to our customers, as is the case with HYmpulsion for which we will deliver green and renewable hydrogen over a period of ten years.”