Renault Group and Plug Power, a world leader in turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutions, has floated a joint venture company - HYVIA. The joint venture, equally owned by the two partners, will be first-to-market with turnkey hydrogen mobility solutions covering light commercial vehicles with fuel cells, hydrogen charging stations, supply of carbon-free hydrogen, maintenance, and management of fleets.
HYVIA is a contraction of “HY” for hydrogen and the Latin word “VIA” for road, representing the ambition to open a new path towards low-carbon mobility. Hydrogen fuel cells are a unique energy solution for commercial vehicles such as LCVs that require greater range and shorter refuelling time to meet operational demands.
Chaired by David Holderbach, who has over 20 years of experience in strategic, product and international sales at the Renault Group, HYVIA’s activities will be carried out at existing Renault facilities in France.
The head quarters of the joint venture and the R&D teams will be located at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric, with the light commercial vehicle engineering and development centre for Renault Group, to maximise synergy across teams. The process, manufacturing and logistics teams will be based in Flins as part of the re-factory project. It plans to begin the assembly of fuel cells and recharging stations by the end of 2021. Based on Renault Master, the first vehicles will be assembled at the Batilly plant, the company said. The fuel cell integration will be carried out by PVI, a subsidiary of Renault Group since 2017, located in Gretz-Armainvilliers.
The HYVIA integrated hydrogen technology complements Renault’s E-Tech technology, increasing the vehicle range to 500 km with rapid recharging time of three minutes. These advantages are particularly well-suited to certain uses of light commercial vehicles while simultaneously addressing the regulatory challenges of decarbonising city centres.
The first three fuel cell vehicles brought to market by HYVIA will be based on the Renault Master platform; these vehicles will be available in Europe by the end of 2021.
Luca de Meo, CEO Renault Group, said this joint venture uniquely integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem, from the vehicle to infrastructure and turnkey services. The development of this cutting-edge technology will the company to strengthen its industrial base and set up new value-generating activities in France in this promising segment.
Andrew Marsh, CEO, Plug Power, said, “Plug Power is a leader in solutions serving the hydrogen ecosystem, with over 40,000 fuel cell systems deployed, 110 charging stations deployed capable of distributing more than 40 tonnes of hydrogen per day. Plug Power is a technological leader in green hydrogen solutions by electrolysis. With HYVIA, we are bringing hydrogen mobility to France and Europe.”
David Holderbach, CEO, HYVIA, said the company is now opening a new path towards decarbonisation with a complete offering of hydrogen solutions. It builds on the complementary skills of Renault Group and Plug Power and will target a 30% market share in hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles in Europe by 2030.