Pragma Industries just became the first company to launch a hydrogen-powered bicycle for commercial and municipal purposes. Based in Biarritz, France, the company has already secured 60 orders for the hydrogen bikes from French municipalities such as Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne. While the bikes are currently too expensive for the commercial market, costs are expected to eventually drop from 7,500 euros to 5,000 euros, and charging stations cost about 30,000 euros.
While Pragma is not the only company interested in hydrogen-powered bicycles, they have taken production of such vehicles the farthest — so far. “Many others have made hydrogen bike prototypes, but we are the first to move to series production,” Pragma founder and chief executive Pierre Forte told Reuters. Pragma’s Alpha bike is able to travel a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles) on a two-liter (0.5 gallon) tank of hydrogen. Although the range is similar to that of a typical electric bike, the recharge time is significantly reduced from hours for a traditional e-bike to merely minutes for the Alpha hydrogen-powered bike.
Pragma offers two types of recharging stations: one that uses hydrolysis of water to generate hydrogen fuel on-site, and another, more affordable station that relies on tanks of already prepared hydrogen fuel. Due to the high cost, Pragma is currently marketing its bikes to larger commercial and municipal operations such as bike-rental operators, delivery companies, and municipal or corporate bicycle fleets. After producing 100 such bikes last year, Pragma hopes to sell 150 this year to organizations in places such as Norway, the United States, Spain, Italy and Germany. In addition to developing a bike that is capable of turning water into fuel without the need of a charging station, the company plans to massively expand into the retail market within the next few years.
Images via Pragma Industries