MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen


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MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen

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MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen
MASTERFLEX – Technische Schläuche & Verbindungen

Europe-wide cooperation on environmentally friendly vehicles

Four European regions and 25 companies, including Masterflex AG, are participating in the HYCHAIN-MINITRANS project


Four European regions and 25 companies, including Masterflex AG, are taking part in the HYCHAIN-MINITRANS project
Herten, 20 September 2007. The EU project HYCHAIN-MINITRANS continues to gain momentum in the Emscher-Lippe region: The participating political regional representatives from Germany, France, Italy and Spain today signed a declaration in Herten Castle in which they agree to cooperate closely, in the use and further development of hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles. Environmentally friendly small and light vehicles are to be developed to market maturity and used under real conditions by 2011. The vehicles will be powered by hydrogen-fed fuel cells. The aim of the project is for the vehicles to be tested by users in everyday use.

Partners within the EU are the regions of Rhônes-Alpes (France), Emilia Romagna (Italy) and Castilla y Léon (Spain). HYCHAIN-MINITRANS is one of the lead projects of the EU and the EnergyAgency NRW in the field of fuel cells and hydrogen.

In addition to the four regions, 25 companies and institutions are involved in the project, which is led by Air Liquide France. The project is intended to contribute to the successful market introduction of fuel cell technology and to make an important contribution to the reduction of air pollution caused by traffic.
HYCHAIN-MINITRANS comprises a fleet of 158 vehicles, including 40 three-wheeled cargo bicycles manufactured by Masterflex Brennstoffzellentechnik GmbH, a subsidiary of Masterflex AG. The high number of vehicles, which will be marketed in the four regions, is intended to enable an industrial production start-up. The vehicles are fueled by replaceable hydrogen cartridges. With a simple "clip-on" technology, they can be operated easily and safely. The distribution of more than 2,000 of these cartridges will be supported by the infrastructure already in place in the four regions.

In the "Memorandum of Understanding" signed today in Herten, the four regions agreed that they would like to go beyond "HYCHAIN-MINITRANS" and develop and promote joint projects in the use of environmentally friendly hydrogen. This may involve, for example, the use of larger vehicles or innovative solutions for use in buildings.

The five-year project was launched on January 15, 2006. The total budget is around 38 million euros. The EU is supporting "HYCHAIN-MINITRANS" with 17 million euros. The remaining 21 million euros are being contributed by the participating companies and institutions. The NRW partners' share of the budget is 8.4 million euros, of which 4 million euros is funding.

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