Renault, Plug Power ink new hydrogen mobility JV, ‘Hyvia’

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 03 Jun 2021


French auto major Renault Group and Plug Power, a leading turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutions company have launched their new joint venture, ‘HYVIA’.

The 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.

HYVIA is a combination of ‘HY’ for hydrogen and the Latin word ‘VIA’ for road, which embodies the partners' ambition towards low-carbon mobility. The partners believe commercial vehicles such as LCVs require greater range and shorter refuelling time, operational demands where hydrogen fuel cells can offer appropriate energy solution.

HYVIA's activities will be carried out at existing Renault facilities in France:

  • The head office of the joint venture as well as the R&D teams will be located at Villiers-Saint-Frederic, with the light commercial vehicle engineering and development centre for Renault Group, to maximise 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 2021.
  • 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.

HYVIA integrated hydrogen technology will complement Renault’s E-TECH technology, increasing vehicle range to 500km with rapid recharging time of 3-minutes. These advantages is particularly well-suited to certain uses of light commercial vehicles while simultaneously addressing the regulatory challenges of decarbonising 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-2021 and accompanied with the deployment of charging stations and the supply of green hydrogen:

  • Transport of goods: Van version and chassis cab version for large volumes.
  • Transport of people: City bus version.

Luca de Meo, CEO, Renault Group: “Renault Group is pursuing its objective of having the greenest mix in the market by 2030 with the creation of HYVIA. This joint venture integrates the entire hydrogen mobility ecosystem in a unique way, from the vehicle to infrastructure and turnkey services for customers.”

Andrew Marsh, CEO, Plug Power: “Plug Power is a leader in solutions serving the hydrogen ecosystem, with over 40,000 fuel cell systems deployed, 110 charging stations deployed capable of distributing more than 40 tonnes of hydrogen per day. With HYVIA, we are bringing hydrogen mobility to France and Europe.”

David Holderbach, CEO, HYVIA added that, “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 percent market share in hydrogen powered light commercial vehicles in Europe by 2030.”