The project contributes to the EU’s goal of a 90% reduction in emissions from the mobility and transport sectors, aiming for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. By fostering the use of hydrogen as fuel, it will also help achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal, the EU Hydrogen Strategy, and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

The project, called ‘IPCEI Hy2Move’, was jointly prepared and notified by seven Member States: Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Spain. The Member States will provide up to €1.4 billion in public funding, which is expected to unlock an additional €3.3 billion in private investments. As part of this IPCEI, 11 companies with activities in one or more Member States, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, will undertake 13 innovative projects.

IPCEI Hy2Move will cover a wide part of the hydrogen technology value chain, supporting the development of a set of technological innovations, including:

  • The development of mobility and transport applications to integrate hydrogen technologies in transport means (road, maritime, and aviation), such as fuel cell vehicle platforms for use in buses and trucks.
  • The development of high-performance fuel cell technologies, which use hydrogen to generate electricity with sufficient power to move ships and locomotives.
  • The development of next-generation on-board storage solutions for hydrogen, necessary for use in aircraft, ensuring safety and efficiency in flight conditions.
  • The development of technologies to produce hydrogen for mobility and transport applications, particularly for supplying hydrogen refueling stations on-site with pressurized, 99.99% pure fuel-cell-grade hydrogen.

IPCEI Hy2Move complements the first three IPCEIs on the hydrogen value chain. The Commission approved IPCEI ‘Hy2Tech’ on July 15, 2022, focusing on the development of hydrogen technologies for end users. IPCEI ‘Hy2Use’ was approved on September 21, 2022, focusing on hydrogen applications in the industrial sector. IPCEI ‘Hy2Infra’, approved by the Commission on February 15, 2024, concerns infrastructure investments not covered by the first two IPCEIs. Hy2Move focuses exclusively on specific challenges and objectives that arise for hydrogen technology in mobility and transport applications.

The overall IPCEI is expected to be completed by 2031, with timelines varying depending on the individual projects and companies involved. Around 3,600 direct jobs are expected to be created, along with many more indirect ones.

Commission Assessment

The Commission assessed the proposed project under EU State aid rules, specifically its 2021 Communication on Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI Communication). Where private initiatives supporting breakthrough innovation fail to materialize due to the significant risks involved, IPCEI rules allow Member States to jointly fill the gap to overcome these important market failures. At the same time, IPCEI rules ensure that the EU economy at large benefits from the supported investments and limit potential distortions to competition.

The Commission concluded that IPCEI Hy2Move meets the conditions set out in its Communication, contributing to a common objective by supporting a key strategic value chain for Europe’s future, developing technologies and processes beyond current technology, and enabling significant improvements in mobility and transport applications, fuel cells, on-board hydrogen storage, and hydrogen generation for mobility and transport use.

Participation and Structure

The project will involve 13 projects from 11 companies in one or more Member States, including SMEs and start-ups. The participating companies will cooperate with each other, as well as with the associated partner Breuer Technical Development, a Belgian SME, and with over 200 indirect partners, such as universities, research organizations, and SMEs across Europe.

Germany, Slovakia, and Spain included their participation in IPCEI Hy2Move in their Recovery and Resilience Plans, allowing partial funding of their projects through the Recovery and Resilience Facility. More information on the amount of aid to individual participants will be available in the public version of the Commission’s decision once the Commission has agreed with Member States and third parties on any confidential business secrets that need to be removed.

This approval by the Commission is part of broader efforts to support the development of an innovative and sustainable European hydrogen industry.

Photo: Claudio Centonze

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