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Three minute charge

08 January 2019

French grocer Carrefour has installed a new hydrogen station to supply its forklift fleet.

Air Liquide supplied and operated the hydrogen charging station for forklift trucks at the Carrefour Supply Chain logistics base in Vendin-le-Vieil (France). This logistics facility, which is a central element of the group's supply chain, receives, stores, and distributes goods to stores throughout the region. 137 hydrogen-powered forklifts from STILL are in service on this site.

Air Liquide has installed a station containing three charging points located at different strategic areas within the DC. This allows each of the 137 forklifts provided by STILL to be charged in three minutes, with a charge lasting an average of eight hours. This installation was co-financed by the FCH-JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) public-private partnership as part of the HyLift Europe project.

Hydrogen energy provides a sustainable alternative to diesel and is said to combine greater flexibility with improved productivity. It extends forklifts' operating range while reducing charging time and improving working conditions for forklift operators.

The use of hydrogen with fuel-cell forklifts, whose only waste emission is water, is already widespread in North America with nearly 20,000 forklifts in service in the United States and Canada. Europe has approximately 300 forklifts in service, of which around 270 are powered by Air Liquide, leaving significant growth potential.