Symbio, the equally owned joint venture between Forvia, Michelin and Stellantis, has officially inaugurated SymphonHy today, its first gigafactory.

Located in Saint-Fons, in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France, SymphonHy is claimed to be the largest integrated fuel cell production site in Europe and houses group headquarters, a production plant, an innovation hub and the Symbio Hydrogen Academy.

The plant has a high level of automation and robotics supporting large scale industrial production at a more competitive cost.

“These developments are key to accelerate the roll-out of competitive, high-performance hydrogen-powered transport, and contribute to the energy transition and the ambitions of Europe to move towards net zero,” Symbio said in a statement.

The plant employs 450 engineers, including 100 dedicated to innovation, and around 20 have PhDs covering disciplines such as electrochemical engineering, chemistry and, materials science.

The group claims to offer products which meet all power, durability and autonomy requirements for “an “efficient zero-emission mobility” for on road light and mid range commercial vehicles, trucks, pickups, buses and coaches, plus off road lifting and mechanical handling equipment.

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By GlobalData

Shareholder Stellantis offers hydrogen versions of its Peugeot e-Expert, Citroen e-Jumpy and Opel Vivaro-e light van models and is expanding the range to add large vans with ‘mid-power architecture’, a range of up to 500km (300 miles) and recharge time of less than 10 minutes.

Stellantis also just announced plans to develop hydrogen technology for its North America market Ram brand pickups, in line with its aim of electrifying its range, with a range of 320 miles ALVW or 200 miles GCWR and fast tank refilling without compromising on payload capacity.

All these vehicles will be equipped with Symbio fuel cells.