Startup Lhyfe wants to encourage the switch to green hydrogen with a BtoB platform

Baptized Lhyfe Heroes, in reference to the manufacturers who were the first to undertake the feat of breaking into a future market, the Lhyfe digital platform intends, this time, to encourage, support and reassure those who carry out “Hydrogen” projects and bring to light calm woods or fuzzy ideas. “It is absolutely necessary to act, as soon as possible…” hammered Matthieu Guesné, founder and president of Lhyfe, during the inauguration of an offshore hydrogen production platform in September in Saint-Nazaire.

Two months later, the startup, which raised 135 million euros since its IPO in early 2022, launched this time on the – digital – platform, bilingual and free Lhyfe Heroes to facilitate updates in the relationship between producers, builders and users and accelerate the implementation of hydrogen projects in European territory. “Lhyfe Heroes really forms part of our digital strategy, both in production and services. It takes many ingredients to launch a hydrogen project. The objective here is to bring together these solutions in a digital, educational and business space, and bring supply and demand closer together. We want to bring together everything that exists in terms of renewable hydrogen”, says Christophe Dubruque, head of mobility and logistics markets at Lhyfe’s business development department. To allow access to hydrogen to the final consumer, the Lhyfe Heroes platform aims to bring together solutions from hydrogen producers, service station builders, distributors, vehicle manufacturers… and allow municipalities, companies, fleet managers… make your purchases more clearly, namely by simulating the CO2 savings obtained with this or that initiative. “The interest is to stimulate the emergence of projects instead of spending a lot of time teaching and bringing up projects that would not have gone that far or would have given up”, recognizes Christophe Dubruque.

Lhyfe, the French start-up that assumes itself as a global giant of renewable hydrogen

A simulator and a catalog

Aimed at removing obstacles and encouraging project initiators to take action, the platform is structured around three axes. Thanks to the implementation of a simulator, the user can, according to his activity, consult the equipment in question, the frequency of use… find out the volume of CO2 saved, the amount of hydrogen needed and measure the relevance of hydrogen for decarbonize your activity. At the same time, the platform offers a catalog of solutions offered (by partners) in the market, such as the type of vehicles (cars, buses, forklifts, etc.), service stations, generators, etc. Projects can be built online, accompanied by LHYFE, which is responsible for connecting the project leader with the partners involved. “He can materialize and plan his project in just a few clicks. And knowing, for example, how much CO2 will be saved by a hydrogen bus that will travel 100 kilometers”, guarantees Claire Ledren, development manager of the Lhyfe Heroes platform. Even if the big contractors come, the ambition of Lhyfe Heroes, an instrument for commercializing hydrogen, is above all to capture less mature projects, from small and medium-sized companies or communities when they start to bet on hydrogen.

Hydrogen: EU and Japan lead global innovation, US lags behind

Fifty projects started

To date, the leaders of Lhyfe Heroes say they have brought together around 50 partner companies, including car manufacturer Stellantis, Portuguese hydrogen station manufacturer PRF and engine and retrofit equipment manufacturer GCK. Seven others are to be referenced shortly. A hundred solutions are thus accessible on Lhyfe Heroes which, since its launch, has registered around 6,000 visits per month. “The Lhyfe Heroes initiative is more than welcome. Manufacturers, producers… we all face the same obstacles linked to the complexity of moving forward in a sector that is in full construction”, testifies Peter Kuhn, responsible for hydrogen development at Stellantis (Citroën, Peugeot, Opel). The initiative has already generated about fifty “projects”. Or at least, “qualified commercial contacts, with very different levels of maturity”, observes Christophe Dubruque, who cites the case of an airport in the process of decarbonization or the change in propulsion technology of a fleet of vehicles for a construction company. Initially focused on mobility and uses, Lhyfe Heroes should very quickly expand its offer to the industrial sector.

Automotive: Lhyfe to build 15 MW plant in Bavaria

A sign of the growing needs in the hydrogen and mobility sector, the German industrial group and automotive supplier Schaeffler has just signed an agreement with the French specialist in green hydrogen. The object of this contract is the construction and operation by Lhyfe of a unit for the production of green hydrogen by electrolysis with a capacity of up to 15 MW (megawatt hours) in Bavaria. Located at the Schaeffler plant in Herzogenaurach, Franconia, it is expected to have a production capacity of 3.7 tons of green hydrogen per day by 2025. The waste heat generated by the electrolysis of water will be injected into the industrial processes of the Schaeffler plant, engaged in a process of transition from fossil fuels to renewables. The Herzogenaurach unit will have a dual purpose: to make the equipment manufacturer’s production ” neutral climate in 2030 “, under the terms of the official communiqué, and supply local communities and gas stations with green hydrogen to improve decarbonization in the region, and make the investment profitable (not communicated). Lhyfe, which inaugurated its first industrial park for the production of renewable green hydrogen in the second half of 2021, announced last September that it had a commercial load plan with a total installed production capacity of 9.8 GW (gigawatt-hours) on the 2030 horizon.