Madrid to replace 1,000 cabs with hydrogen fuel cell taxis


The taxi association Federación Profesional del Taxi de Madrid (FPTM) wants to replace at least 1,000 internal combustion vehicles with fuel-cell-electric taxis in the Spanish capital by 2026 and build the corresponding hydrogen infrastructure including production.

Madrid is to see the first FCEVs for hire hitting the road in 2022. FPTM is joined in the effort by Toyota, Madrileña Red de Gas, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), Grupo Ruiz and PwC, which involves 100 million euros. The investment includes fleet vehicles and charging infrastructure, known as “hidrogeneras.”

Toyota Spain will deliver the hydrogen taxis, namely the second-gen Mirai FCEVs. Madrileña Red de Gas and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures will deploy the infrastructure with FPTM, stressing that the new fleet will use green hydrogen. The renewable energy will come through a 10MW electrolysis hydrogen generator powered by a 20MW solar plant. The association points to the Community of Madrid for the installation and says it would allow their expansion if demand increases significantly.

To help cab drivers switch to fuel cell vehicles, the association thinks of the project as a Taxi as-a-service. It says it would allow taxi professionals to use the hydrogen vehicle at a competitive cost compared to traditional technologies and, without initial disbursements, has yet to outlay the deal’s details.

Madrid is not alone in the effort. In January, Paris announced a large-scale project with hydrogen taxis in the French capital, where diesel vehicles are to be replaced by 600 Toyota Mirai, latest by 2024. The energy company Total recently joined the corresponding Parisian joint venture HysetCo as reported. Founding members include Air Liquide, Idex, Société du Taxi Électrique Parisien (STEP) and Toyota. Back then, they considered HysetCo a “major landmark” for hydrogen transport and also wanted to further an existing fleet of fuel cell taxis called Hype.

Once the 600 fuel cell taxis are deployed, Paris would run one of “the largest fleet of taxis in the world using energy as a hydrogen as an energy source,” according to the CEO of Toyota France, Frank Marotte. With Madrid joining the game, the race is on.

Read more in spanish here.

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