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French startup launches world's first hydrogen-powered bicycles

   A French start-up has become the first company to start factory production of hydrogen-powered bicycles for use in corporate or municipal fleets. Pragma Industries, which is based in Biarritz, France and makes fuel cells for military use, has sold some 60 hydrogen-powered bikes to French municipalities including Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne. At about 7,500 euros per bike, and at least 30,000 euros for a charging station, the bikes are too expensive for the consumer market, but Pragma is working to cut that to 5,000 euros, which would bring their price in line with premium electric bikes.hydrogen-powered bicycles“Many others have made hydrogen bike prototypes, but we are the first to move to series production,” said founder and chief executive Pierre Forte. The firm’s Alpha bike runs for about 100 km (62 miles) on a two-litre tank of hydrogen, a range similar to an electric bike, but a refill takes only minutes while e-bikes take hours to charge. One kilo of hydrogen holds about 600 times more energy than a one-kilo lithium battery. Pragma also sells refueling stations that produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water as well cheaper tank-based stations.hydrogen-powered bicyclesThe bikes, which look and ride the same as any normal bicycle, are aimed at bike-rental operators, delivery companies, and municipal or corporate bicycle fleets with intensive usage.
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