Tire and sustainable mobility company Michelin and automotive supplier Faurecia have progressed with their bid to combine all hydrogen fuel cell activities to become a “world leader in hydrogen mobility”.
The French companies said 21 Nov that they had “formalised” the creation of Symbio, a 50:50 joint venture tasked with developing, producing and marketing hydrogen fuel cell systems for light vehicles, commercial vehicles and trucks as well as for other areas of electromobility.
The two companies had originally announced the partnership in March.
As part of the final agreement, Michelin and Faurecia will initially invest €140m in the joint venture in order to accelerate the development of new-generation fuel cells, launch mass production and increase business in Europe, China and the United States.
Faurecia is contributing its technological hydrogen mobility expertise and the results of R&D work carried out with the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission).
Michelin, for its part, is contributing the know-how of its subsidiary Symbio FCell, an equipment manufacturer supplying hydrogen fuel cell kits, as well as a range of services and design and production activities.
Symbio aims to capture 25% market share and achieve a turnover of around €1.5bn by 2030.
The joint venture will eventually have three industrial sites supplying the world's main automotive markets: Europe, Asia and the United States.
Fabio Ferrari, who co-founded Symbio ten years ago to create “freedom of movement with zero emissions”, has been appointed chief executive officer, while Guillaume Salvo, formerly director of the light vehicle product line at Faurecia, has been appointed chief operating officer.
“The development of hydrogen mobility is a perfect illustration of Michelin's growth ambitions, particularly in the field of high-tech materials,” said Florent Menegaux, Michelin Group president commenting on the agreement.
The Michelin strategy is part of a broader vision of more sustainable mobility made widely accessible.