Petrol, Electricity, Hydrogen… Madic’s “Energy Mix” to Supply the French Car Fleet

Finance Lifestyle
Petrol, Electricity, Hydrogen… Madic's "Energy Mix" to Supply the French Car Fleet 1

CONSUMPTION: Manufacturer of petrol pumps, electric and hydrogen charging stations, the Madic group is preparing to supply an energy mix for the vehicles of tomorrow

  • After half a century of activity in the oil industry, the Madic group is preparing for the energy transition with the production of a range of charging stations for electric vehicles and hydrogen dispensers.
  • A 100% electric car fleet within ten or fifteen years is unimaginable according to this heavyweight of automotive energies, which relies on a diversity of energies.
  • “Hydrogen is the future, believes the president and founder of the group, but it will not develop for ten years. »

Madic, this name certainly means nothing to you. However, you have probably already paid for your petrol at one of their terminals, since 70% of the automatic gasoline pumps are manufactured in their factory.

This holding company was inaugurated this Thursday in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, near Bordeaux, its new technological pole. After half a century of activity in the oil industry, the Madic group is preparing for the energy transition with the production of a range of charging stations for electric vehicles and hydrogen dispensers. “We are also going to continue to manufacture petrol pumps, announces the founder and president of the group, Christian Blossier, but we are going to accompany the slow decline of oil, which will be gradually replaced by other liquid but non-fossil fuels, by electricity and hydrogen. »

“A real risk of blackout” if there were too many electric vehicles

In what proportions? “We don’t know what we’ll be producing in ten years,” admits the group’s president. My belief is that the French car fleet will be multi-energy: there won’t be a single energy, that’s impossible. This is why the 18,000 m2 factory and its 11 production lines have been designed in a modular way. If the electric mobility market were to reach its limits, the production lines are interchangeable and could adapt to different mobility.

A 100% electric car fleet within ten or fifteen years is indeed unimaginable for this heavyweight of automotive energy. “With 40 million cars in France, the energy transition will be slow, and I note that Europe’s decision to stop thermal engines in 2035 has already been questioned by several countries, analyzes Christian Blossier. Certainly, we will have to consider a review clause for this schedule, because it is impossible to stop the thermal car in 2035. Especially since we do not have the energy resources to operate even 20 million electric cars. »

Petrol, Electricity, Hydrogen… Madic's "Energy Mix" to Supply the French Car Fleet 2
Fabrice Chapelain, CEO of the Madic group, in front of an electric charging station manufactured by his group. – Mickael Bosredon

“If we have even 20 or 30% of the car fleet in electric, we will start to have problems, abounds the general manager of the group, Fabrice Chapelain. Imagine the number of vehicles that will begin to recharge. There is a real risk of arriving, at some point, in a blackout. “Fabrice Chapelain is also counting on the diversity of energies, “especially as we move towards fuels that pollute less and less, or even zero emissions. »

“Hydrogen is particularly close to our hearts”

That’s not to say Madic doesn’t believe in electrics. “The market is there, and our production of charging stations is exponential. We are preparing for very strong growth in the coming years, adds Fabrice Chapelain. Some large accounts will be equipped with 30,000 or 40,000 terminals, we are ready to respond to this type of order, despite everything with two constraints: the availability of certain components, and the lack of manpower, whether for the assembly and R&D.”

In the energy mix envisaged by Madic, “  hydrogen is particularly close to our hearts” continues the group’s founder. “Hydrogen is the future, because it is a much less energy-consuming technology. We have to position ourselves on it now, even if it won’t develop for ten years. »

“Hydrogen will start with heavy goods vehicles, adds Fabrice Chapelain, because the electric battery will not be able to offer them enough autonomy. We will start with small mobile units offering green hydrogen, which is very important, that is to say hydrogen made from wind turbines for example. »

“Reinventing the service station model”

This energy panoply should offer consumers a choice according to their uses. “For urban use, electric is great, but if you make longer journeys, it’s already a little more complicated, even if enormous progress has been made,” analyzes the general manager. We are also moving towards several types of distribution at the same service station. »

Fabrice Chapelain believes that we will have to “reinvent the service station model. “In the peri-urban area, you can imagine a station where you drop off your thermal car, to borrow a small electric vehicle to get to the city center. The stations on the motorways will have to adapt to motorists who stop to recharge their electric car and offer service during this period of time… The station of tomorrow will have to evolve to offer a whole network of additional services. »

The rural sector is not to be outdone, with a new solution proposed by Madic, which has recently been designing nano stations, that is to say small “plug and play” petrol stations. Connected to a tank, “they can be installed very quickly, in a fortnight, and are fully connected to be managed remotely, without a gas station attendant, explains Christian Blossier. They can thus equip small rural communities, where the big stations no longer want to go because it is not profitable. »

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *