After years of silence regarding Opel’s fuel cell activities, the German automobile manufacturer came back in mid-May 2021 with an H2 van Vivaro-e Hydrogen – and with it the French sister companies Peugeot and Citroën, both of which also belong to the parent company Stellantis. The major corporation designed its own “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric system” for the three brands, consisting of a 100-kW drive combined with a 45-kW fuel cell from the French manufacturer Symbio and a high-voltage power storage unit.
An energy self-sufficiency project is set to be tested on the Orkney Islands, UK: Hydrogen from wind power will be used for fuel cell range extenders integrated into electric vans to offer clean transportation. In April 2016, twelve partner companies from six EU countries were awarded the contract for this project
In the 1960s and 1970s, France’s industry and research departments used to be very proactive in fuel cell development. Then, 1974 came to pass and with it the slogan of “all-electric, all-nuclear” (tout-éléctrique, tout-nucléaire). The number of fuel cell projects fell drastically and remained at its low level until about the end of the 1990s. In the meantime, a great many subsidies have gone into nuclear industry developments: Billions were and are being spent through CEA (Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique) in this field.