Bart Biebuyck is the new man charged with making hydrogen fuel cell technology widely available and affordable in Europe, stepping into the role of director of the European Commission’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen public private partnership.
Biebuyck succeeds Bert De Colvenaer, who left the position in December to head a Commission platform on electronic components, called ECSEL.
Belgian-born Biebuyck joins the project from the fuel cell department of Toyota Motor Europe, where he served as technical senior manager since 2011. Before that he worked in Toyota’s Japanese base, and was part of the team that produced the Aygo car in 2006.
The fuel cell platform, bringing together European hydrogen power manufacturers and researchers, was formed in May 2008 and renewed by the Commission for a second term in 2014, with a budget of €1.33 billion. The portfolio comprises a mix of projects ranging from basic and applied research to demonstrations.
Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, and South Korean manufacturer Hyundai released the first mass-market hydrogen cars last year. European carmakers have nothing yet to match these efforts, although Germany’s Daimler has a hydrogen car in production. Apart from being in plentiful supply, the only emission from a fuel cell-powered car is water vapour.