PARIS--Air Liquide (Paris:AI) and the Chinese startup STNE (Shanghai Sinotran New Energy Automobile Operation CO., LTD.), have signed a partnership to accelerate the rollout of hydrogen-powered electric truck fleets in China. This agreement fits in with the Chinese government’s 13th five-year plan, which aims notably to support the development and sale of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles serving clean mobility.
Through this partnership, Air Liquide acquires a minority stake of around 10 million euros in the Chinese startup STNE, a hydrogen logistics platform designed for urban deliveries of goods, which currently operates a hydrogen station in Shanghai and a fleet of 500 hydrogen-powered trucks. As part of this agreement, Air Liquide will provide STNE with its expertise in the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production and storage to distribution, to accelerate the startup’s development. STNE aims to run a fleet of up to 7,500 trucks and to operate a network of around 25 hydrogen stations by 2020.
Hydrogen is an alternative that addresses the challenges of clean transportation, thus contributing to improving air quality. Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with the oxygen in the air to produce electricity, with water as the only byproduct. It does not generate any pollution at its point of use: zero greenhouse gases, zero particles and zero noise. Hydrogen brings a concrete response to the challenge of sustainable mobility and local pollution in urban areas, especially for logistics. Indeed, it takes less than seven minutes to recharge hydrogen-powered trucks, for a driving range of around 400 kilometers.
François Darchis, Senior Vice President, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, said, “We are delighted with this partnership with the startup STNE, thus contributing to the development of hydrogen solutions in China. This investment combined with Air Liquide’s industrial and technological expertise in the field of hydrogen energy, enables the Group to contribute to accelerating the rollout of concrete solutions for the energy transition in China.”
Air Liquide in China
Air Liquide in China operates nearly 90 plants and employs more than 4,000 employees today. With a strong presence in the key coastal industrial areas, Air Liquide is now expanding into the center, south and west. Its main business activities include industrial and medical gas operations, Engineering & Construction (designing, manufacturing and installing air separation units/hydrogen facilities), as well as Innovation activities.
Air Liquide’s commitment to hydrogen energy
In the past 50 years, Air Liquide has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production and storage to distribution and the development of applications for end users, thus contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy source, for mobility in particular. Air Liquide has designed and installed 100 stations around the world to date.
The world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 80 countries with approximately 65,000 employees and serves more than 3.5 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.
Air Liquide’s ambition is to lead its industry, deliver long term performance and contribute to sustainability. The company’s customer-centric transformation strategy aims at profitable growth over the long term. It relies on operational excellence, selective investments, open innovation and a network organization implemented by the Group worldwide. Through the commitment and inventiveness of its people, Air Liquide leverages energy and environment transition, changes in healthcare and digitization, and delivers greater value to all its stakeholders.
Air Liquide’s revenue amounted to 20.3 billion euros in 2017 and its solutions that protect life and the environment represented more than 40% of sales. Air Liquide is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (compartment A) and belongs to the CAC 40, EURO STOXX 50 and FTSE4Good indexes.