It took Pragma Industries, a French manufacturer of fuel cell bikes, fewer than 3 weeks to reach the EUR 300,000 goal of its early November crowdfunding campaign. The amount, which has meanwhile grown to over half a million euros, is planned to help with the construction of the first lpha bikes in Biarritz. The lpha 2.0, the company’s second generation of hydrogen-powered pedal cycles, comes with a 250-watt electric motor by Brose and a frame-integrated 200-bar pressure cylinder offering a range of 100 kilometers, or 62 miles.
The first generation of the bike, known as Alter Bike, was unveiled in May 2013 (see July 2013 issue of HZwei). It was said to be available for lease in 2014 and for sale in 2016. Then, Pragma pushed back the schedule, announcing that it would initially offer its product only to fleet operators in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Saint-Lô and Chambéry. The EUR 150,000 deal would involve 10 fuel cell bikes and a refueling station, which could fill 20 to 30 bikes a day, taking only 1 to 2 minutes for each. Consumers will reportedly have to wait until 2019 to purchase a bike on the open market.
In November 2015, industrial gas supplier Linde presented a similar fuel cell model to the German public. This one, however, was only used for marketing purposes, as the company had no intention of creating its own product line (see April 2016 issue of H2-international).