For the moment, it takes up more space in the columns of the economic press that the automotive press. But, after its introduction on the Paris stock Exchange last week on market Access, the French start-up HMC (Hydrogen Motivates Company) and its brand Hopium, founded in 2019 by Olivier Lombard, would love to be one day as big as Tesla. On the same springs of the technological rupture and an assumption, the free energy release at the time of its use. But, alas, not always at the time of manufacture.
The hydrogen, which will effect the engine of this limousine to the stunning design, futuristic, wants to mingle in the debates of the great builders who are interested in it often for a long time and sometimes even produce models that are marketed in small series (Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes, BMW). Not what frighten Olivier Lombard, the driver of 29 years who has worked for eight years with the Swiss GreenGT to the development of a prototype hydrogen assumed to align in 2024 at the 24 Hours of le Mans.
The race to the road, the young entrepreneur thinks the moment has come to position itself in this burgeoning market, as Elon Musk had anticipated two decades ago for the electric. Well seen, because it is an opinion shared by a few large manufacturers, some of whom have even skipped the step of the electrical to go directly to hydrogen if the regulatory schedule had forced to take this step.
Hunting for investors
But they are continuing their work on hydrogen to prepare the kick-after. This is still laboratories, cranes, sold at a loss at prohibitive prices. The client is recruiting for the essential work with communities called to take the test because, for the common drivers, the quasi-absence of the pumps for refuelling makes them impassable. But they said the same thing about the electric there not so long ago and everything changed as we know it for. It is the idea of Hopium to be present as a specialist in monoculture alongside general practitioners and gain a strategic advantage.
To the hundreds of thousands of euros own funds, Olivier Lombard has found 1.7 million from investors before going to dredge the opportunistic to the recycle bin. It can also build on the investment plan hydrogen 7 billion euros of the government announced by Bruno The Mayor, even if he is a dwarf alongside Renault and PSA, but the Hopium has already attracted the support of Total and Michelin.
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His limousine called simply “Māchina” designed by an ex-Porsche but also…. Tesla and Lucid, Felix Godard, is already very successful on the plan design and promises performance unusual in the genre of eco-friendly (1 000 km of autonomy, 3 minutes to charge, 500 hp, 230 km/h). We’ll see if the prototype launched in 2021 is to keep those promises, if investors are betting on this new horse-steam, the most hard – industrialization and the establishment of a network – remains to be done.