BMW, Airbus lead €4.7bn hydrogen transport IPCEI

BMW, Airbus lead €4.7bn hydrogen transport IPCEI

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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The European Commission has approved its fourth Important Project of Common European Interest (‘IPCEI’) around hydrogen technology, this time for transportation.

The Hy2Move project will support research, innovation and the first industrial deployment in the hydrogen value chain in transport with €1.4bn of state money. This is expected to unlock a further €3.3bn of private investment in fuel cells for buses, trucks, trains and aircraft, as well as storage and refuelling stations.

There are 13 projects in Hy2Move for the integration of fuel cell vehicle platforms for use in buses and trucks as well as the development of high-performance fuel cell technologies move ships and locomotives.

Projects will also develop next generation on-board storage solutions for hydrogen. For the use in aircraft, lightweight, yet robust tanks are necessary ensuring safety and efficiency in flight conditions, as well as the development of on-site refuelling stations delivering pressurised, 99.99% pure fuel-cell-grade hydrogen.

Airbus and BMW are lead partners for the projects.

The Hy2Move IPCEI complements the first three IPCEIs on the hydrogen value chain. The Commission approved Hy2Tech on 15 July 2022, which focuses on the development of hydrogen technologies for end users. Hy2Use was approved on 21 September 2022 and focuses on hydrogen applications in the industrial sector. Hy2Infra, approved on 15 February 2024, concerns infrastructure investments, which are not covered by the first two IPCEIs. Hy2Move focuses exclusively on specific challenges and objectives that arise for hydrogen technology in mobility and transport applications.

The completion of the overall IPCEI is expected by 2031, with timelines varying in function of the individual projects and the companies involved.

The participating companies will cooperate with each other as well as with the associated partner Breuer Technical Development, a Belgian SME, and with over 200 indirect partners, such as universities, research organisations and SMEs across Europe. As well as Airbus and BMW, the partners include Skeleton and Tomark as well as Michelin and Air Products.

UK revamps its EV battery, hydrogen task forces

Hydrogen can support us to move around and transport goods with zero emissions. But investing into hydrogen powered mobility and transport technologies can be risky for one Member State or one company alone. This is where State aid rules for IPCEI have a role to play. The IPCEI Hy2Move approved today is an example of truly ambitious European cooperation for a key common objective. It also shows how competition policy works hand in hand with breakthrough innovation,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy at the Commission.

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