The Minister of Transport inaugurated the National Meetings of Public Transport on September 28 in Aussonne. Among the notable innovations, the use of hydrogen for buses and trains. Five hydrogen buses, produced locally, will soon be operated by Transdev at Toulouse-Blagnac airport and a hydrogen train will connect Toulouse and Luchon by 2025.
“We do not know today, at the end of the pandemic, the most serious economic crisis in transport, and in particular in public transport, as well as a major change in uses, with the use of teleworking, which we know if it will have an impact. sustainable ”. Jean-Baptiste Djebbari thus recognized the difficult context in which the authorities organizing transport find themselves. The Minister of Transport inaugurated the 28es National public transport meetings, this September 28 at the Meett de Toulouse-Métropole, in Aussonne.
The minister was however optimistic about the rebound capacity of transport, with the support of the state, thanks to “energy innovation”. For the minister, the hydrogen sector should constitute “a new era of French conquest”. The government will also allocate 7 billion euros by 2030 to the development of this hydrogen sector.
Toulouse and its region are at the forefront of the development of the hydrogen sector. The minister stopped by the stands of Safra, a hydrogen bus manufacturer located in Albi, and of Transdev, a French transport group that is betting on the electrification of its fleet and in particular the development of the hydrogen sector: “We we only had 50 electric buses in our fleet in 2016, we now have 1,800, including 50 that run on hydrogen, ”says Thierry Malet. The CEO of this French multinational, which employs 85,000 people worldwide, adds: “We already have 50 hydrogen buses in operation on regular lines in Lens, Auxerre… including 24 in the Netherlands”.
15 Lio buses converted to hydrogen
Transdev will operate five hydrogen-powered electric buses for Toulouse-Blagnac airport currently being manufactured by the Albigensian company Safra. “These hydrogen buses, produced on site, will link the airport to its car parks and to the runways,” Vincent Lemaire, head of Safra, told the minister, showing him around the vehicle, lit by large bay windows and fitted with a sort of raised platform, above the engine and technical equipment, hidden under the floor.
Safra employs 300 people in Albi, including 190 in the hydrogen sector, and plans to increase to 400 soon. The company will also transform 15 Lio diesel buses from the Occitanie region into hydrogen buses. Buses which have the advantage of emitting no polluting emissions (only pure water) and of having a much greater range than vehicles with heavy batteries. Even if they remain more expensive.
Carole Delga alongside the Minister, recalled in substance: “the hydrogen sector is being set up in Occitania, from floating wind power, hydraulics and household waste, with the commissioning of the first train to Alstom hydrogen, by 2025, on the Toulouse-Luchon line ”.