Groupe Renault has entered a joint venture with hydrogen fuel cell specialist Plug Power to develop a range of hydrogen powered vans.
The new partnership aims to provide turn-key fuel cell vehicle solutions, fuel and refuelling infrastructure, targeting a 30% share of the fuel cell-powered van market in Europe.
Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, said: “This joint-venture project is fully aligned with our strategy to offer market ready H2 solutions for LCVs. With Plug Power, we will build a unique end-to-end fuel cell value chain and offer turnkey solutions for customers including vehicles, refuelling stations and decarbonised hydrogen delivery.
“With this project, our ambition is to position France as a bridgehead of industrial, technical and commercial development in this key technology, and to strengthen our leadership in Europe as our objective is to become the European leader in fuel cell LCV.”
Plug Power has 20 years of experience in fuel cell technologies and hydrogen solutions, having deployed more than 40,000 fuel cell systems, designed and built 110 refuelling stations that dispense more than 40 tons of hydrogen daily.
Groupe Renault and Plug Power intend to establish an Innovation Centre for the development of fuel cell technology and hydrogen fuel cell LCV vehicles based on existing and future Groupe Renault platforms.
The initial focus will be on the heavy van segment, utilising the Trafic and Master vehicle platforms.
By combining the vehicle manufacturing capabilities of Groupe Renault with the fuel cell and hydrogen system manufacturing knowledge of Plug Power, the companies will develop a vertically integrated fuel cell stack for integration into LCV vehicle platforms.
The first hydrogen-powered vans are expected to be deployed on pilot fleets later this year.