Over the past 4 years, AIR FLOW via their AIR FLOW Hydrogen Services, have positioned themselves as market leader for the transport and storage  of hydrogen through the dynamic created by the ZEV (Zero Emission Valley) project.

Coordinated by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the “ZEV” project is the first project in France for long term hydrogen mobility for commercial fleets at a regional level. HYmpulsion, established in 2019 by all the partners in the ZEV project, is to build by the end of 2024 a network of 20 hydrogen charging stations as well as 3 electroysers that will produce the necessary renewable hydrogen for their network. As well as developing this infrastructure, several hundred hydrogen powered cars and commercial vehicles will be able to benefit of subsidies on purchase, allowing this ecosystem to emerge.

Based on their know-how gathered over 20 years as world leader in cryogenics and logistics, their polyvalence and their expertise allow them to offer innovative solutions, AIR FLOW was retained by HYmpulsion to take part in this adventure. The company has invested 9m euros and signed a service contract for 19 years to provide the equipment and storage, the curative maintenance et digital tracking for the supply deliveries to the ZEV project refuelling stations.

“This project for hydrogen refuelling stations dedicated to commercial vehicles is a major project within decarbonisation of commercial activities in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. AIR FLOW has invested 9 million euros in transport and storage equipment for the roll out of the ZEV project. We implemented a specific process to develop “Isotubes” that allow large capacity storage of hydrogen; The design was established by Faurecia, part of group FORVIA. These Isotubes will over time transport hydrogen between their 3 production sites and the 20 hydrogen charging stations. We will over the 19 years period maintain, service, transport and load the tanks as well as their security & safety.” Explains Pierre Fiat, Chief Executive Officer

« HYmpulsion initiates the long-term hydrogen mobility market in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes via the financing, the design and the operating of the hydrogen charging infrastructure of the Zero Emission Valley project dedicated to the mobility of small and large commercials vehicles. HYmpulsion chose Air Flow to organise the logistics between the 3 hydrogen production sites and the 20 charging stations, due to their know-how in the rental, the maintenance et the digitalisation of the equipment used for the storage and the transport of hydrogen. This choice highlights the rise of the hydrogen sector in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes territory, to allow decarbonisation, to improve air quality in our valleys and towns, create non-relocatable jobs and strengthen French energy sovereignty;” explains Thierry Raevel, HYmpulsion President


With the “ZEV” project led by HYmpulsion, whose shareholders include the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Michelin, Engie, Le Credit Agricole Centre France, Centre-Est, des Savoie, Loire Haute Loire et Sud Rhône Alpes and La Banque des Territoires, it’s a whole ecosystem of French know-how fundamental to French industrial independence with the energy of the future that has been generated. It allows the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to be the leading hydrogen territory in France and the spring board to deploy this technology.

Co-financed by the European Union within their connecting Europe facility, the ADEME, the ecological transition agency and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region (with the help towards the vehicles), ZEV project plans for:

  • 20 hydrogen distribution stations
  • 3 electrolysers able to produce hydrogen in situ
  • Availability of several hundred cars and small & large commercial vehicles

After two charging stations in Savoie, in the towns of Chambéry and Moûtiers, HYmpulsion will expand their network with 4 additional charging stations by the end of 2022, early 2023, located in Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Priest, Vénissieux and Saint-Egrève, allowing their customers who have chosen hydrogen mobility to cross the region in an East to West axis, to access on their journeys a charging solution with renewable hydrogen. Five stations will be added to the network by the end of 2023, strengthening the mesh in particular on the north-south axis.

Note that hydrogen electric mobility is not in opposition to battery electric mobility; both technologies offer benefits that respond to different mobility requirements.