Thibault Léonard - Moviatech

Engineer and Hydrogen Project Manager

Every hero has an extraordinary story – this is that of Thibault Léonard, an Engineer and Hydrogen Project Manager at Moviatech who has been in hydrogen since the start of his career.  

Why did you become involved with hydrogen?

As a car enthusiast, I did my studies at an automotive engineering school and specialised in new energies and the environment. Then, two years ago, I began my career at Moviatech on a hydrogen project.

Peter Parker became Spiderman after a bite by a radioactive spider; what bit you with hydrogen?

My encounter with Moviatech. And particularly with Sylvain Jourdy, Moviatech’s CEO, who presented his project to me – it was his vision that inspired me!I was familiar with hydrogen, of course, and the prospects that this new technology was opening up for mobility. The internal combustion engine has reached its limits in terms of environmental acceptability. There are also battery electric vehicles, but if we want to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation, we must look to hydrogen.What interested me at Moviatech was the user-focused approach, doing whatever is necessary to facilitate uptake and lift barriers, which will enable hydrogen to be used by all.  

Batman has the Joker, Zorro has Sgt. Garcia … what are you fighting against?

The preconceived ideas and barriers associated with hydrogen. I try to spread the word and convey what I believe – hydrogen is usable as of now! Projects are underway; it is operational – we proved it by touring France in a hydrogen car in 2020.Some people don’t even know that hydrogen vehicles are already on the roads!Moviatech is therefore trying to do everything it can in terms of education, as the technology is still relatively unknown. You have to re-explain that the vehicles are electric, that hydrogen is stored as a gas, that it isn’t dangerous...  

Is hydrogen the future?

Moviatech is convinced that it is a solution of the future, for certain uses: heavy vehicles, long-distance journeys, ...The most important thing is really that the hydrogen be as green as possible, because the ultimate achievement is of course to use carbon-free hydrogen.

Why is your business a pioneer in its field?

At Moviatech, we want to make life as easy as possible for hydrogen vehicle users and remove the constraints that can be involved in driving these vehicles. Hydrogen vehicles reproduce all the advantages of combustion engine vehicles (range, refuelling time) and battery electric vehicles (quiet, clean) but we must still simplify all the logistics involved in refuelling them.

As a car enthusiast, what hydrogen-related event would you be most excited to see?

In endurance car racing, we are already seeing great initiatives. Green GT is racing a hydrogen vehicle in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. GCK is going to take part in the Dakar Ralley with a hydrogen vehicle.To see a specialist race with exclusively hydrogen vehicles would be a really fantastic step.

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