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Is the hydrogen bike the next two-wheel hit?

French manufacturer Pragma Mobility is introducing a brand new generation of hydrogen bikes: Alpha Neo

Published: Nov 30, 2022 01:02:23 PM IST
Updated: Nov 30, 2022 01:11:18 PM IST

Is the hydrogen bike the next two-wheel hit?The Alpha Neo from Pragma Mobility The Alpha Neo from Pragma Mobility Image: Courtesy of Pragma Mobility

With its Alpha Neo, French manufacturer Pragma Mobility is introducing a brand new generation of hydrogen bike. However, this alternative to other forms of transport comes with a very high price, which is why Pragma Mobility, like car brands working on hydrogen models, is planning to offer the model in a system of long-term rentals.

As in the automotive sector, hydrogen is currently being touted as an increasingly viable alternative to traditional lithium batteries for bicycles. The main benefit is that hydrogen enables a vehicle to be charged up within a very short time. In the case of the Alpha Neo, for example, it takes less than two minutes, from a dedicated station, for a maximum range of nearly 150 km. This fill-up can be done at a hydrogen station or with a simple commercial hydrogen bottle and an adapted hose.

This bicycle includes a fuel cell. It is the contact between the hydrogen and the oxygen of the ambient air, which will generate electricity, with the bicycle only emitting water vapor. It is therefore perfectly neutral for the environment, especially if it uses green hydrogen. Note that this fuel cell could have a life span of 10 years according to the manufacturer. The very first hydrogen bike of the manufacturer dates from 2017, claimed to be a world first at the time.

But a major obstacle in the way of adopting the Alpha Neo is its price, which has been indicated at between 4690 and 5690 euros before tax. Besides some wealthy individuals, Pragma Mobility's strategy consists in reaching professionals, companies and local authorities, in order to provide them with an innovative soft mobility solution. In order to get riders in the saddle, the manufacturer has decided to propose its bike in long term rental in its homeland of France, with monthly payments of 79 euros (before tax) after a first payment of 1700 euros (also before tax). And as the number of hydrogen distributors is still very low to date, Pragma Mobility is also offering charging solutions to interested companies.

Also read: Decoding The 'H' Factor: How Hydrogen Can Revolutionise The Push For Clean Mobility

While Pragma Mobility is a pioneer in the hydrogen bike field, other manufacturers around the world are also working on similar concepts. Dutch manufacturer Urban Arrow has already partnered with Pragma Mobility to develop the first hydrogen-powered cargo bike. Fast to charge up and offering a range of 50 km, it could also be available on the market soon.

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