EU Commission approves IPCEI ‘Hy2Move’ focused on hydrogen mobility

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The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a fourth Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) to support research, innovation and the first industrial deployment in the hydrogen value chain.

The project contributes to the EU’s target of a 90 per cent reduction of emissions from the mobility and transport sectors, in order for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. By fostering the use of hydrogen as a fuel, it will also help achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal, the EU Hydrogen Strategy and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

The project, called IPCEI Hy2Move, was jointly prepared and notified by seven Member States, including from the CEE region: Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain.

“Hydrogen can support us to move around and transport goods with zero emissions,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy. “But investing in 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.”

The Member States will provide up to 1.4 billion euros in public funding, which is expected to unlock an additional 3.3 billion euros in private investments. As part of this IPCEI, 11 companies with activities in one or more Member States, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, will undertake 13 innovative projects.

IPCEI Hy2Move will cover a wide part of the hydrogen technology value chain, by supporting the development of a set of technological innovations, including:

  • the development of mobility and transport applications to integrate hydrogen technologies in transport means (road, maritime and aviation). This includes, for example, fuel cell vehicle platforms for use in buses and trucks;
  • the development of high-performance fuel cell technologies, which use hydrogen to generate electricity with sufficient power to move ships and locomotives;
  • the development of next-generation onboard storage solutions for hydrogen. For use in aircraft, lightweight, yet robust hydrogen tanks are necessary to ensure safety and efficiency in flight conditions;
  • the development of technologies to produce hydrogen for mobility and transport applications, in particular for supplying hydrogen refuelling stations on-site with pressurised, 99.99 per cent pure fuel-cell-grade hydrogen.

Hydrogen Europe has welcomed this latest announcement as it represents another significant commitment to scaling up hydrogen capabilities that will facilitate the decarbonisation of the mobility sector.

“We are delighted to see the successful final chapter of the hydrogen IPCEIs,” commented Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe. “It is now crucial that Member States make the necessary resources available for all waves and establish the right conditions for these projects to be delivered as soon as possible.”

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

The completion of the overall IPCEI is expected by 2031, with timelines varying in function of the individual projects and the companies involved. Around 3,600 direct jobs are expected to be created and many more indirect ones.

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