Hyvolution: our interview of Thierry Kovacs (AURA region)

interview thierry kovacs

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is very well represented at Hyvolution with about 30 exhibitors (10%) coming from the French Region. In this interview, Thierry Kovacs, the Region Vice-President in charge of environment, takes stock of the advancement of the Zero-Emission Valley project. This founding project for the French hydrogen economic sector is on the rise as it is now extending to heavy mobility. 

Thierry Kovacs starts by explaining that hydrogen’s true utility resides in heavy and/or intensive mobility since electric solutions are not as effective for these kind of uses. He mentions that Laurent Wauquiez, President of the AURA region, has recently inaugurated the first approvable retrofitted coach (i.e. it meets the standards). The said coach is almost 100% from the region : the coach is from Ivéco, GCK proceeded with the retrofit with Symbio’s fuel cells. Only the tank comes from Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (a neighbouring region). 

He also argues that it will not be possible to buy brand new coaches to replace the old ones. Retrofitting -i.e. converting a Diesel vehicle to hydrogen- is therefore an excellent compromise to acquire zero-emission coaches for a lesser price. The Region has an objective of 50 hydrogen retrofitted buses in the next years. It also wants to promote the use of hydrogen utility vehicles with a financial aid for helping professionals acquire these highly valued vehicles. 

He concludes by reminding us of the significance of his Region as regards to the hydrogen sector, which he qualifies as “a sector of the future for the planet, employment and economic development.” And he adds that the Region has everything to succeed since it is “the perfect decision-making body in terms of size and proximity with the companies and territories.”

The whole interview is available here (in French). You can find out more about Hyvolution in this article.

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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