Talking about hydrogen, HYVIA – a 50-50 joint venture between Renault Group and U.S.-based fuel cell specialist Plug Power – is going to be an actual benchmark. Only nine months after the creation of the joint venture, HYVIA is ready to inaugurate its fuel cell production plant in Flins, France, where Renault Group’s Refactory plant is. Here’s our exclusive interview with HYVIA CEO, David Holderbach.
Since its creation on June 3, 2021, HYVIA is moving fast. Our plant represents a major human, technological and industrial challenge. It is a fantastic illustration of our unique joint venture: we join the expertise of Renault Group, a dominant player in the automotive industry, and Plug Power, a world leader in turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutionsDavid Holderbach, HYVIA CEO
HYVIA to bring the hydrogen supply chain in Flins
The HYVIA plant in Flins is the first step within a wider industrial project, beginning with 3,000 square meters and a highly skilled team of about 15 employees: operators, managers and technicians coming from Flins manufacture. According to the plans of the joint venture, by the end of 2022, the fuel cell assembly & testing line will have a capacity of 1,000 fuel cell/year and the H2 refueling station assembly line will begin. Also, the H2 supply will begin with the installation of a 1MW electrolyzer that will supply H2 to the plant, for testing fuel cells and H2 refueling stations.
The 30kW fuel cell to be manufactured in Flins is a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology, designed based on the proven and durable Plug Power technology. It brings together air and hydrogen, allowing increased power and range for mobility. Both air and hydrogen flows enter in the fuel cell stack, the “heart” of the fuel cell. These will power the entire Renault Master H2-TECH portfolio (Van, Chassis Cab and City Bus).
HYVIA has grown to about 70 employees since its creation
HYVIA confirms its industrial anchoring in France. HYVIA headquarters, engineering, R&D center, H2 integration and vehicle production are also based in France. Since its creation in 2021, HYVIA has grown to about 70 employees since its creation, including a strong engineering team.
«HYVIA plant is part of the Re-energy pilar of our strategic Refactory plant in Flins. Its ramp up embodies Renault Group’s strong ambitions in H2 mobility, complementary to electric mobility. It will contribute to increase local integration, creating value in France and Europe», said Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO.
«Plug Power is proud to see the assembly of its fuel cell here in France. We have been present in Europe for more than 10 years, being a major investor in the development of the European H2 sector. We have accelerated our growth with HYVIA, in partnership with Renault Group. Together, we’re taking meaningful steps to tackle climate change», added Andy Marsh, Plug Power CEO.