In 2015, several automobile manufacturers unveiled the first vehicles using hydrogen batteries. This system converts hydrogen into electricity directly and continuously by means of electrochemical reactions. The battery continues to operate as long as it is supplied with reagents (hydrogen and oxygen from the air). The main benefit of this technology is range: in tests, vehicles could fill up in three minutes, then drive up to 600 km.
In order to counter the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, hydrogen could be the ideal solution to stock excess production from wind farms and photovoltaic power plants. This technology could also provide a long-term solution for mobility. EDF has already taken action on this topic, in particular with its investment in Sunfire, a German start-up specialising in technologies related to fuel cell and the production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water, made via its innovation fund Electranova Capital.
This breakthrough technology is suitable for both the renewable energy storage market - to supply hydrogen to service stations for fuel cell vehicles - and Power-to-Gas natural gas networks.