Renault and Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., an international developer of multi-fuel reforming and fuel cell technology, have signed an agreement to strengthen their partnership and continue their collaborative efforts in fuel cell research and development.

The deal gives Renault an equity stake in Nuvera, sets out the terms of a new research contract, and licenses Renault to use technology developed by Nuvera. According to the agreement, Renault will acquire a 10% equity stake in Nuvera by contributing to Nuvera’s capital increase. Nuvera’s other shareholders are integrated energy company Amerada Hess Corporation, headquartered in New York, and Italian electrochemistry company Gruppo De Nora.

In addition, Renault and Nuvera agreed to terms on a new four-year R&D contract whereby Nuvera grants Renault a license to use its technology for automobiles and light-duty vehicles. This contract extends a prior deal signed in 2002 for developing a hydrocarbon reformer adapted for automobile use.

The on-board reformer converts gasoline to hydrogen, which is used to power the fuel cell that drives the vehicle. The initial contract is due to terminate later this year when Nuvera supplies Renault with a prototype of the unit. “The agreement will enable us to play an active role in the development of fuel cells powered by reformed hydrogen,” said Pierre-Alain de Smedt, Renault’s Executive Vice President for Industry and Technology.

“With the addition of Renault as a strategic shareholder, we have securely positioned ourselves for the challenges that lay ahead to execute our business plan for the next four years,” commented Roberto Cordaro, President and CEO of Nuvera Fuel Cells.