Renault Group, a French multinational automobile manufacturer, and Plug Power Inc., a company that specializes in turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutions, have launched HYVIA. The joint venture (JV) is equally owned by the two partners and is chaired by David Holderbach, who has 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 companies’ ambition to open a new path towards low-carbon mobility. Commercial vehicles such as light commercial vehicles (LCVs) require greater range and shorter refueling time, operational demands where hydrogen fuel cells offer energy solutions.
“As a pioneer in new energies and in electric LCVs, Renault Group is pursuing its objective of having the greenest mix on the market by 2030 with the creation of HYVIA,” says Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group. “This JV integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem in a unique way, from the vehicle to infrastructure and turnkey services for customers. The development of this technology will enable us to strengthen our industrial base and set up new value-generating activities in France in this promising segment.”
HYVIA’s activities will be carried out at existing Renault facilities in France:
- The head office of the JV as well as the R&D teams will be located at Villiers-Saint-Frédéric, with the LCV engineering and development center for Renault Group, to maximize synergy across teams.
- 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 the year.
- The first vehicles, based on Renault Master, will be assembled at the Batilly plant.
- 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 LCVs 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 the year and accompanied with the deployment of charging stations and the supply of green hydrogen.
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