Symbio and the Schaeffler Group established a joint venture called Innoplate, with the aim of promoting R&D and eventually produce fuel cell bipolar plates (BPP), a strategic fuel cell component. According to the official statements, the first production plant will be located in the French city of Haguenau. The target is to produce around 50 million BPPs and employ more than 120 people by the end of this decade.
Some background information: Symbio was created by Michelin and Faurecia with a clear focus on hydrogen development. Schaeffler is one of the major groups on a global scales when it comes to key motion components, especially but not only in automotive. Innoplate will accelerate the production of next generation BPP for the entire proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell market, thus enhancing performance, capacity and cost competitiveness for its customers. The joint venture is expected to be established by the end of 2022, subject to customary conditions precedent such as applicable merger control clearances.
Innoplate: the target is mass-production of next-gen BPPs
Innoplate will enable and accelerate the mass-production of next generation BPP with Symbio
and Schaeffler being the JV’s exclusive customers. Symbio has received a first major nomination
for their fuel cell system from a leading automotive OEM and plans to use the JV to supply the
BPP for this program.
“Metallic Fuel Cell bipolar plates are a strategic high added value component of the fuel cell
system”, stated Philippe Rosier, CEO of Symbio. “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. Furthermore, it is testimonial of Symbio’s engagement to build technological and industrial
leadership in Europe.
“We believe that hydrogen will play a vital role in enabling clean mobility in the future”, added Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler. “The establishment of a hydrogen economy and the transition to sustainable energy resources will largely depend on the industrialization of reliable supply chains for the new technologies. Our Joint Venture with Symbio is a great example for this approach. As a global company that is headquartered in Germany, we are also very happy to partner with Symbio in France and foster the Franco-German cooperation in this important area. The JV allows a fast market entry for Schaeffler in partnership with a leading fuel cell supplier”.