Groupe Renault has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Plug Power Inc., global leader in fuel cell systems and hydrogen related services, to launch a 50-50 joint venture based in France by the end of the first half of 2021.
Renault said in a statement that the strategic JV will allow the two companies to become key players in Europe in the research and development (R&D), transformation, manufacturing and sale of fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and hydrogen turn-key solutions in the coming years.
Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault said joint-venture platform will serve the fast-growing market of fuel cell LCVs, taxis, and commercial people transportation, starting in 2021 with pilot fleet deployments.
“This joint-venture project is fully aligned with our strategy to offer market ready H2 solutions for LCVs,” Mr de Meo said.
“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, said the JV 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 for integration into LCV vehicle platforms.
He said the company will target over 30% share of the fuel cell-powered LCV market in Europe.
“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,” Mr Marsh continued.
“We look forward to working with our new partners to combine our technology with their decades long experience leading the European automotive market.”