Automotive giant Renault Group is teaming with fuel cell solutions provider Plug Power Inc. to launch three new hydrogen-powered vehicles in Europe by the end of 2021, saying these light commercial vehicles (LCVs) will support decarbonized mobility.
Following a partnership first announced in January, the companies on Thursday shared more details about the “HYVIA” products, which will include a van and a chassis cab design for the transport of goods and a city bus for the transport of people.
Each model will offer driving range of about 310 miles with rapid recharging time of 3 minutes, making them well-suited to the extended range and short refueling time required for LCVs, while simultaneously addressing the regulatory challenges of decarbonizing city centers, they said. The partners will also deploy a chain of charging stations and a supply of green hydrogen.
The HYVIA joint venture is equally owned by the two partners and is chaired by Renault executive David Holderbach. Its activities will be carried out at four existing Renault facilities in France.
“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,” Holderbach said in a release. “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.”
By designing the vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel cells, the partners hope to cut greenhouse gas emissions in freight operations by a different strategy than a raft of battery-powered trucks scheduled to reach the market in coming years. However, the HYVIA approach mirrors that of General Motors (GM), which recently said it is designing a line hydrogen fuel cell “power cubes” for automotive manufacturer Navistar Inc.
We’re happy to launch HYVIA in partnership with @PlugPowerInc! This joint venture will lead the way to a complete ecosystem of:— Renault Group (@renaultgroup) June 3, 2021
✔️fuel cell powered LCVs
✔️& refueling stations across Europe.
To know more ▶️https://t.co/YpoQdZtWIx pic.twitter.com/6PVuHqybLT