Hype, a French start-up operating a fleet of hydrogen-powered taxis, has secured another high-profile partner as it pursues its goal to deploy 10,000 zero-emission cabs and establish a network of 20 high-capacity refueling stations in the Paris region by the end of the 2024 Olympic Games.
The taxi brand, already backed by Air Liquide (EPA:AI), TotalEnergies (EPA:TTE) and Toyota Motor Corp (TYO:7203), among others, has now signed a strategic partnership agreement with French hydrogen equipment specialist McPhy Energy SA (EPA:MCPHY) to ensure growth in the following years.
The agreement has several dimensions, as McPhy put it in its press release on Tuesday. Under the commercial part of it, Hype has placed a firm order with McPhy for the supply of a 2-MW to 4-MW alkaline electrolyser and a 800 kg per day hydrogen station in 2022.
Additional orders for a new multi-megawatt electrolyser and five high-capacity hydrogen stations could follow in 2023, but this will depend on whether Hype is granted certain subsidies it requested this year, said McPhy.
Furthermore, McPhy and Hype plan to establish a co-exclusive framework agreement by the end of 2022. As part of this agreement, McPhy stands to become the preferred partner for the supply of 15 MW to 25 MW of alkaline electrolysers and pick up orders for 50 hydrogen stations from Hype for deployment in France and Europe.
As part of the “financial dimension” of the agreement, McPhy will subscribe to Hype’s convertible bonds in the amount of EUR 12 million (USD 13.5m) once the firm order for electrolysers and stations is formalised. The notes will bear interest at 4.5% per year and will be redeemable after nine years from their subscription, McPhy said.
These bonds may be converted into Hype shares prior to their maturity date, under certain conditions and in limited circumstances, including a change of control, an initial public offering or a share issuance in excess of EUR 10 million, the press release reads.
The third part of the agreement revolves around the technological collaboration based on knowledge sharing as McPhy will have access to the data collected by Hype vehicles. The goal is to standardise equipment, improve technical performance and increase economic competitiveness.
Launched in 2015 by its current president Mathieu Gardies, Hype has set some ambitious goals for its itself to achieve by mid-decade. The Parisian taxi platform wants to operate a fleet of over 700 hydrogen-powered cabs in 2022, expand beyond the French capital to cities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and the UK by the end of 2024, and arrive at around 40,000 vehicles and some 100 filling stations by the end of 2025.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.127)
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