Twenty years later and a country apart, the French HyVolution show brings back memories of how Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe started out at Hannover Messe in Germany. Launched by Bertrand Chauvet, the president of Seiya Consulting, …
…the first HyVolution attracted a relatively small number of exhibitors and attendees when it was held in September 2013 in Albi. After a short stint in Grenoble in 2014, it found a permanent home in Paris two years later as GL Events took over management of the event.
In the meantime, the French government has also started to promote the hydrogen market, so that HyVolution has turned into a global show buzzing with activity. In all, 120 exhibitors presented their products to over 2,000 industry professionals who attended HyVolution between Feb. 4 and 5, twice as many as in 2018. Hype, a French operator of hydrogen taxi cabs, came to the event with 15 Toyota Mirai cars to shuttle visitors between the metro station and the expo area. The number of people asking for its hydrogen taxi services in Paris is so high that Hype decided not to promote its smartphone app, as it can no longer meet all requests.
Although French exhibitors and attendees were again in the majority this year, interest in the Paris-based show has been growing around the world. For example, many German businesses have been pushing into the French market, and HyVolution is offering them an ideal opportunity for establishing a network in France. Some of the other exhibitors at the event were from Belgium, Canada, Denmark or the UK. Both they and the attendees had many positive things to say about the conversations they had and they people they got to know, even if it is not always easy for foreign companies to get a foot in the door.
Additionally, FCH JU took advantage of the opportunity to run an information day on upcoming EU requests for bids in the sector, while members of the Hydrogen Valley Partnerships based in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Scandinavia, Scotland, Spain and Portugal decided to hold their third plenary session at HyVolution. The Espace Ateliers served a purpose similar to that of the Public Forum at Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Europe, namely offering a central platform where exhibitors could showcase their expertise. The roundtable discussions, held mostly in French and sometimes in English, were recorded for broadcast on TV. The show even had a space allocated for business meetings. Although a few things could become a bit more intuitive, it is clear that the Paris HyVolution show, which GL Events is planning to hold annually from now on, has become a big asset to Europe’s hydrogen and fuel cell community.
In 2021, HyVolution will take place on Feb. 10 and 11 at Parc Floral on the outskirts of Paris.
Author: Uta Mummert