Michelin is preparing to ramp up hydrogen production through its Symbio partner, which will see the start of factory construction for hydrogen fuel cell systems in Saint-Fons near Lyon this year.
In combination with batteries, H2 fuel cells will be used to increase range and enable the development of green long-distance and urban travel.
By 2030, Symbio expects to be making 200,000 H2 fuel cells per year.
“Michelin has been working on hydrogen fuel cell technology for more than 15 years,” said Michelin Europe North Region president, Anish Taneja. “With our Symbio joint venture, we are currently developing the fourth generation. Our goal now is to scale production to reduce manufacturing costs.
"We are cooperating closely with Faurecia to make our joint subsidiary a leading supplier in this area. Our goal is to achieve sales of EUR1.5bn (US$1.8bn) by 2030."
First milestones have already been reached. Symbio is currently developing the fourth generation of its fuel cell systems. By 2025, Symbio will have a production capacity of more than 20,000 fuel cell systems. The company currently employs 250 people.
The joint venture has reported initial successes in original equipment: The StackPack S is used as standard in two hydrogen-powered Renault models. The Kangoo Z.E Hydrogen and the Master Z.E Hydrogen have been rolling off the production line with Symbio components since October, 2019.
Symbio is also equipping the PSA Group's first hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle fleet with its StackPack system.
The PSA Group will introduce hydrogen-powered vehicles for business customers in 2021.