Pragma Industries is offering a new electromobility concept – hydrogen-powered bicycles. The hydrogen bikes were debuted at the G7 summit, where journalists and world leaders alike tested the bikes. With no intention of selling the bikes, Pragma Industries has developed a plan to market the bikes in the developing world.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles are not a new concept. Companies such as Toyota and Daimler have been developing hydrogen-fueled cars for years and the number of hydrogen-powered buses in France are also increasing. However, hydrogen-powered bikes and scooters have not been attempted, until now. While it is difficult to make the system compact enough to fit on a scooter, Pierre Forte, founder and CEO of Pragma Industries, has found a way to achieve the system on a bike.
The hydrogen-powered bikes can travel 150 km without any rider assistance, almost 3 times as much as e-Bikes using lithium-ion batteries. The bike currently weighs around 30 kg, with the hydrogen system weighing approximately the same as an electric battery of equivalent capacity. The next models are expected to travel longer distances and weigh around 25 kg. The bike is thought to have a strong environmental impact, with the hydrogen system having almost zero impact on CO2 emissions from construction to dismantling. The system uses renewable hydrolysis which is obtained by electrolysis fueled by renewable energy.
The business strategy of Pragma Industries is not to sell the bicycles, but to rent them for long periods of time. At the end of the life, the bike would be returned to Pragma, which would then be responsible for the reevaluation and recycling of the components. The bike was priced to be 7000 EUR, but Pragma Industry wants to lease them for a rental price of 50 EUR per month. This is because although the bikes can achieve full charge in two minutes, individual charging stations would be too expensive for the consumer. Therefore, the bikes must be marketed in fleets such as shared e-Bikes.
The business strategy for Pragma Industries seems to target the western world, but they are receiving large orders from developing countries. After the G7 summit in Biarritz, Chilean president Sebastian Pinera placed an order for one-thousand bikes. The vision for Pragma Industries is offer the bikes in locations where they may not only experience power outages or the network is not stable, meaning cars are not a common means of transport. The bikes can also offer other useful applications in such markets, such as becoming a mobile generator. It is not only simple but inexpensive to include extra functions such as a lamp to light up the dark at night.