Hydrogen mobility pioneer, Hype, is entering a new phase with HysetCo’s acquisition of major taxi firm Slota

Published on 01/19/2021 Press releases
  • More than €80 million in funds were raised thanks to the arrival of four new financial partners, which have joined HysetCo and Hype: RGREEN INVEST, Mirova (an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers), RAISE Impact, and Eiffel Investment Group
  • Acceleration of the development of the Paris region’s network with the commissioning of new refueling stations in 2021, with a view to having 20 stations by 2024
  • The transformation of Slota’s fleet means replacing 600 more Parisian diesel taxis into zero-emission vehicles.

Paris, January 19, 2021 - HysetCo, an asset management firm devoted to the development of hydrogen energy, which owns the world’s largest fleet of hydrogen taxis, operated by Hype, today announced the acquisition of Slota Group, a long-standing Parisian taxi operator.

In order to finance the acquisition of Slota Group through investment fund Naxicap, and to build two new hydrogen refueling stations, HysetCo and Hype put together a group of leading financial partners, including RGREEN INVEST, Mirova, RAISE Impact and Eiffel Investment Group. As part of this deal, Air Liquide has also increased its commitment. Thanks to this fundraising campaign, HysetCo and Hype have now raised over €100 million in investment.

Hype

The diesel vehicle fleet currently operated by Slota will progressively be replaced by the Toyota Mirai – a fuel cell sedan – and will be operated by Hype. The expertise of Slota’s teams will enable HysetCo to achieve its objectives and ramp up its growth.

In order to supply this growing fleet, new hydrogen refueling stations will be added to the existing network in 2021, including one at Porte de Saint-Cloud, on a site operated by the City of Paris. This rollout will receive financial support from the ADEME1, as well as the Île-de-France Region and the FCH-JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking2). HysetCo also plans to operate approximately 20 hydrogen stations by the end of 2024.

Through this key step, the partners have reaffirmed their ambition to ramp up the transition of passenger transportation to a zero-emission model, in line with the environmental objectives of the city of Paris and the Île-de-France Region, in particular regarding the reduction of air and noise pollution: “Zero-emission taxis and VTCs by 2024”. HysetCo also aims to promote the parallel emergence of other relevant hydrogen mobility solutions, as well as replicating this model in other regions.

The President of HysetCo, Loïc Voisin, said: “We are delighted to add Slota’s skills and recognized know-how to HysetCo’s unique offering, which combines infrastructure, vehicles, and the use of the world’s largest fleet of hydrogen taxis. At this key stage, HysetCo is confirming its innovative positioning at the cutting-edge of zero-emission hydrogen urban mobility, as well as its strong growth momentum contributing to pollution-free cities today and in the future.”

The President of STEP, Mathieu Gardies, added: “The completion of this deal in the unusual circumstances of 2020 illustrates the momentum behind the Hype project, which is underpinned by the quality of our new financial partners and by the renewed support of Air Liquide. We now have everything we need to scale up our business faster in the Paris region and beyond, with the same objective of fighting air pollution and facilitating the use of zero-emission hydrogen mobility solutions by as many drivers and customers as possible, as soon as possible.”

The Vice President of Air Liquide’s Hydrogen Energy World Business Line, Pierre-Étienne Franc, said: “With the acquisition of this key player in Parisian taxis, Hype/HysetCo is taking an important step in the transition to clean mobility using hydrogen. Since 2015, Air Liquide is proud to support this project, which is now entering a new phase of development in the Île-de-France region, and will help support the deployment of the project in new geographies.”

The President of Kouros France, Alain Rossignol, said: “KOUROS is proud to support the development of Hysetco, which intends to pursue its growth and soon offer all taxis and VTC’s in the Paris region a zero-emission mobility solution including vehicles and a charging infrastructure. This phase points to what the future of urban transportation will look like: available, silent transportation with no negative impact on our health or the climate.”

The CEO of Toyota France, Frank Marotte, said: “This acquisition will demonstrate, on a large scale, that a new model for shared, zero-emission mobility is possible. This initiative will create the largest fleet of taxis in the world using energy as a hydrogen as an energy source. We are particularly proud to be involved, and thus to increase Toyota’s investment in France. France, which is already home to our production, commercial, and design activities, will now showcase Toyota’s know-how in terms of hydrogen mobility around the world. More generally, for Toyota, it is an important contribution to the path that will make us a zero-emission mobility society.”

The President and founder of RGREEN INVEST, Nicolas Rochon, commented: “As an independent asset management company, RGREEN INVEST chooses to invest exclusively in energy transition accelerating projects and solutions focused on adapting to climate change. Hydrogen technology is the future for mobility. With its low-emissions, it is already capable of combining a response to the climate emergency with growth in the transportation sector. Deploying this technology is expensive today, but we are convinced of its future profitability. For this reason, our NOUVELLES ENERGIES II fund is investing in the form of senior debt to ensure this acquisition takes place thereby accelerating the development of hydrogen mobility and low-carbon transportation in France.”

For Raphaël Lance, Head of Energy Transition Infrastructure Funds at Mirova: “Since its creation, Mirova has been involved in the energy transition. With the Mirova Eurofideme 4 Fund3, we wanted to go further by committing to sustainable mobility. After completing several deals in electrical mobility over the last few months, we are very happy to take part in the development of hydrogen mobility by investing to enable Hype, a key player in the sector, to scale up its operations.”

Aglaé Touchard Le Drian and Eric Coisne, Associate Directors of RAISE Impact said: “RAISE Impact is particularly proud to support Hype’s growth and thereby contribute to cleaner mobility through the development of the hydrogen industry in France, which was defined as a priority sector for innovation in the French State’s productivity pact. This emblematic deal strengthens RAISE’s historic ties with the project’s partners – Air Liquide, and Toyota – as well as our co-investors.”

The Managing Director of Eiffel Investment Group, Pierre-Antoine Machelon; and the Director of the Eiffel Gaz Vert Fund, Marc-Etienne Mercadier, commented: “We are particularly happy to join forces with the world’s leading suppliers of gas for industry and mobility, and to be part of a first-rate financial consortium created to finance this major deal. Scaling up the ecosystem developed by Hype for the use of decarbonized hydrogen in shared mobility is perfectly in line with Eiffel Investment Group and Eiffel Gaz Vert’s impact investment strategy.”

[1] Agency for the energy transition
[2] The FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) is a public-private partnership that supports research, technological development, and demonstration activities in the field of energy technologies, fuel cells, and hydrogen in Europe. This infrastructure is part of the H2ME 2 project financed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking as part of subsidy agreement no.700350. This public-private partnership enjoys the support of the European Union, Hydrogen Europe, and Hydrogen Europe Research’s Horizon 2020 and FP7 research and innovation program.
[3] MIROVA EUROFIDEME 4 is a French limited partnership (Société de Libre Partenariat), closed to new subscription. Mirova is the management company. The supervisory authority approval is not required for this fund.
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