Symbio, Schaeffler team up to produce fuel cell component

Image by Schaeffler AG (www.schaeffler.com)

June 9 (Renewables Now) - France’s Symbio and German automotive supplier Schaeffler AG (ETR:SHA) have agreed to form a joint venture (JV) to produce fuel cell bipolar plates (BPP), a key element of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, for the global mobility and energy markets.

The 50:50 joint venture, announced this week, will be called Innoplate and will be based in Haguenau, France. It is expected to be operational by the end of the year and to start production in early 2024 with an initial annual capacity of 4 million BPP. By 2030, the JV is looking to produce around 50 million BPP a year and employ more than 120 people.

The new venture’s first customer will be Symbio, which is a hydrogen joint venture between Faurecia SE (EPA:EO) and Michelin (EPA:ML) and has received the first major nomination for its fuel cell system from an unnamed automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Symbio and Schaeffler will be the JV’s exclusive customers.

“Metallic fuel cell bipolar plates are a strategic high added value component of the fuel cell system,” said Symbio chief executive Philippe Rosier. “Innoplate will be instrumental to secure serial production capability underpinning our customers’ programs and the Hydrogen mobility market uptake, while accelerating enhanced system performance and an effective step-up in cost competitiveness of our solutions,” added Rosier.

The Franco-German partnership will also help reinforce the European hydrogen mobility value chain.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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