Renault Group, a dominant player in the automotive industry, and Plug Power Inc., a world leader in turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutions, are launching their joint venture HYVIA, as outlined in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement signed on January 12th, 2021. The joint venture is equally owned by the two partners and is chaired by David Holderbach, with over 20 years of experience in strategic, product and international sales at the Renault Group.
The name HYVIA is a contraction of “HY” for hydrogen and the Latin word “VIA” for road, embodying the ambition to open a new path towards low-carbon mobility. Commercial vehicles such as LCVs require greater range and shorter refueling time, operational demands where hydrogen fuel cells are the unparalleled energy solution.
HYVIA’s activities will be carried out at existing Renault facilities in France:
1. The head office of the joint venture as well as the R&D teams will be located at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric, with the light commercial vehicle engineering and development center for Renault Group, to maximize synergy across teams.
2. The process, manufacturing and logistics teams will be based in Flins, as part of the Re-Factory project, and plan to begin the assembly of fuel cells and recharging stations by end of 2021.
3. The first vehicles, based on Renault Master, will be assembled at the Batilly plant.
4. The fuel cell integration will be carried out by PVI, a subsidiary of Renault Group since 2017, located in Gretz-Armainvilliers.
The HYVIA integrated hydrogen technology complements Renault’s E-TECH technology, increasing vehicle range to 500 km with rapid recharging time of 3 minutes. These advantages are particularly well-suited to certain uses of light commercial vehicles while simultaneously addressing the regulatory challenges of decarbonizing city centers.
The first three fuel cell vehicles brought to market by HYVIA will be based on the Renault Master platform and should be available in Europe by end of 2021 and accompanied with the deployment of charging stations and the supply of green hydrogen:
– Transport of goods: Van version and Chassis cab version for large volumes.
– Transport of people: City bus version.
“As a pioneer in new energies and the European leader in electric light commercial vehicles, Renault Group is pursuing its objective of having the greenest mix on the market by 2030 with the creation of HYVIA. This joint venture integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem in a unique way, from the vehicle to infrastructure and turnkey services for customers. The development of this cutting-edge technology will enable us to strengthen our industrial base and set up new value-generating activities in France in this promising segment”, said Luca de Meo, CEO Renault Group
“Plug Power is a leader in solutions serving the hydrogen ecosystem, with over 40,000 fuel cell systems deployed, 110 charging stations deployed capable of distributing more than 40 tonnes of hydrogen per day. Plug Power is a technological leader in green hydrogen solutions by electrolysis. With HYVIA, we are bringing hydrogen mobility to France and Europe”, said Andrew Marsh, CEO Plug Power
“Renault has been a hydrogen pioneer since 2014 with more than a hundred light commercial vehicles on the road. We are excited to join forces with Plug Power with its integrated solutions approach towards green hydrogen. HYVIA is now opening a new path towards decarbonation with a complete offering of hydrogen solutions. HYVIA builds on the complementary skills of Renault Group and Plug Power and will target a 30% marketshare in hydrogen powered light commercial vehicles in Europe by 2030”, said David Holderbach, CEO HYVIA