Diagonal lineup of Hyundai Hydrogen-powered NEXO vehicles
Charbone Hydrogen, a Quebec-based green hydrogen company, acquired three 2023 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through a leasing agreement with Foss National Leasing. Photo: Hyundai Canada

Charbone Hydrogen, a Quebec-based green hydrogen developer, chose Grand Prix weekend in Montreal to unveil three newly acquired Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles it will use to showcase green hydrogen mobility

Charbone Hydrogen, a Canadian green hydrogen company, has acquired three 2023 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through a leasing agreement with Foss National Leasing.

Charbone says it will use the Nexo vehicles to promote and demonstrate green hydrogen mobility in the Montreal area as well as to federal, provincial, and municipal authorities and other stakeholders across Canada and the United States. 

“The addition of Hyundai Nexo vehicles in Charbone’s fleet will be a giant step forward in realizing the viability of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Canada, and Quebec in particular,” said Ken Maisonville, director of sales at Hyundai Auto Canada in a press statement. “Decarbonizing mobility as we know it is a monumental undertaking, and we applaud Charbone for their bold work on this front and raising much-needed awareness on energy transition possibilities.”

The hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs) were handed over to Charbone earlier this month at the Brossard Hyundai dealership in greater Montreal.

From June 15-18, Charbone is showcasing the Nexo vehicles at the Grand Prix Festival on Crescent Street in Montreal. The festival coincides with the annual Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix weekend in the city.

During the festival, attendees will be able to learn from Charbone about green hydrogen production, distribution and usage, as well as the technology behind Hyundai’s cars. An on-site compressed hydrogen refuelling station will also be available to demonstrate vehicle filling techniques.

Developing a Canadian hydrogen network

Charbone’s mission revolves around establishing modular and expandable hydrogen production facilities in Canada and the United States. As such, it is a strong proponent of green hydrogen as the most “optimal” fuel for the future of transportation.

Founded in 2018, the company is in the process of acquiring several hydropower plants. It aims to produce environmentally friendly green dihydrogen molecules using reliable and sustainable energy sources.

Charbone sees Hyundai Canada as a vital partner in promoting green mobility in Canada, due to Hyundai’s wide range of EVs and its early adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology. As well as showcasing its Nexo vehicles at public events like the Grand Prix, it also plans to display them at the nationwide network of green hydrogen production facilities is it developing.

“Charbone is excited about the partnership with Hyundai Canada and Foss,” said Dave B. Gagnon, chairman and CEO of Charbone. “We are eager to receive the cars and drive them around the Montreal region to showcase the concept of hydrogen. This is also an opportunity to show there is no reduction of autonomy in winter with alternate fuels”

According to Hyundai, the Nexo vehicles offer “superior range conservation in cold climates compared to other battery electric powertrains, making them particularly resilient for Canadian winters.”

These vehicles can be refuelled in five minutes and have a range of up to 570 kilometres.

Charbone Lab, a subsidiary of Charbone Hydrogen, will collaborate with local academic partners to study and report on the reliability of the Hyundai Nexo in Quebec’s different weather conditions.

Installing hydrogen fuelling stations

In addition to acquiring hydrogen-fueled vehicles, Charbone is also developing and installing green hydrogen filling stations in Quebec.

In December, it partnered with Groupe Filgo-Sonic, a Quebec-based energy retailer and operator of service stations and convenience stores, to establish a network of green hydrogen refuelling stations in the province.

These stations will be installed at existing Filgo-Sonic sites along two major traffic routes on Montreal’s south shore. The exact locations are yet to be determined by the companies.

“Collaborating with a large Quebec company such as Filgo-Sonic in the deployment of the first filling stations is a great sign of confidence in our ability to produce and deliver green hydrogen at the right time, while the first trucks to use hydrogen are about to enter the market,” said Charbone’s Gagnon in a press release announcing the partnership.

As part of the agreement, Charbone will take on the responsibility of producing green hydrogen at its facility in Sorel-Tracy, which has been under construction since February.

Charbone’s partner, Netherland-based hydrogen refuelling station manufacturer Resato Hydrogen Technology B.V, will handle the manufacturing and installation of the hydrogen filling stations.

In the future, Charbone plans to expand its hydrogen refuelling station infrastructure across Canada. They have also proposed building a hydrogen refuelling station corridor between Quebec City and Detroit, Michigan.