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
In the 1960s and 1970s, France’s industry and research departments used to be very proactive in fuel cell development. Then, 1974 came to pass and with it the slogan of “all-electric, all-nuclear” (tout-éléctrique, tout-nucléaire). The number of fuel cell projects fell drastically and remained at its low level until about the end of the 1990s. In the meantime, a great many subsidies have gone into nuclear industry developments: Billions were and are being spent through CEA (Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique) in this field.
The idea has already been tossed around for twenty years – now it is finally being realized: The development of a market-ready fuel cell bike. As gas specialist Linde announced in November 2015, it took in-house engineers less than three months to design an electric-assisted pedal cycle equipped with a fuel cell instead of a battery pack. The required hydrogen is brought along in a composite tank, which can hold 34 grams of the gas