Groupe Renault and Plug Power will launch a 50-50 joint venture in France to serve the fast-growing market of fuel cell light commercial vehicles (LCV), taxis and commercial people transportation.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was today (12th Jan) signed for the venture which will offer unique, comprehensive, differentiated products and solutions to the LCV market, designed around three key pillars of R&D, manufacturing and sales.
Under the R&D pillar, 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.
For manufacturing, the joint venture will combine the vehicle manufacturing capabilities of Groupe Renault with the fuel cell and hydrogen system manufacturing knowledge of plug power, establishing a vertically integrated fuel cell stack and system manufacturing centre in France.
As part of the final pillar of sales, the partnership will create a hydrogen vehicle eco-system solution company that offers vehicles, hydrogen fuelling stations, hydrogen fuel, and services to customers.
The joint venture will be established in the first half of this year and will then start commercialising fuel cell LCV’s in Europe with pilot fleet deployments.
Commenting on the partnership, Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, said, “This joint-venture project is fully aligned with our strategy to offer market ready hydrogen 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 decarbonized 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”.
Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, added, “Plug Power prides itself on being at the leading edge of innovation in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Groupe Renault to become a leader of market fuel cell heavy vans in Europe. We look forward to working with our new partners to combine our technology with their decades long experience leading the European automotive market.”