Schaeffler and Symbio JV begins fuel cell bipolar plate production

With an initial current production capacity of 4 million bipolar plates, the Innoplate joint venture is expected to reach 50 million units annually by 2030, thus strongly contributing to the ramp-up of hydrogen mobility in Europe.  

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 07 Jun 2024 Views icon1805 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Innoplate, a 50/50 joint venture of Schaeffler and Symbio, has inaugurated its new production site for fuel cell bipolar plates (BPP) in Haguenau, France.

Bipolar plates are a strategic component for fuel cell technology and Innoplate represents a compelling industrial combination leveraging the technological and industrial strengths of its founding companies. With an initial current production capacity of 4 million bipolar plates, Innoplate is expected to reach 50 million annually by 2030, thus, strongly contributing to the ramp-up of hydrogen mobility in Europe.  

Bipolar plates are a strategic component for fuel cell technology. Photo: Schaeffler (Bernd Kammerer)

Industrialising the next generation of bipolar plates
Schaeffler and Symbio have joined forces at Innoplate to mass produce next-generation metallic BPP for fuel cells and support hydrogen-clean mobility emergence. Innoplate aims at accelerating 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.

While Schaeffler brings its industrial excellence and OEM expertise in areas such as steel processing and coating technology, Symbio is providing its highly integrated know-how in fuel cell design and production. Innoplate production has started in the first quarter of the year and is already equipping Symbio fuel cell systems.

Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, said: “At Schaeffler, we are convinced that hydrogen will play a fundamental role in the sustainable mobility of tomorrow, especially in the heavy-duty area. By starting the production of next-generation bipolar plates for fuel cells in our joint venture Innoplate together with Symbio, we are proud that our innovative production technologies and industrial know-how can contribute to both cleaner and climate friendly mobility, and to strengthen the Franco-German partnership.”

Philippe Rosier, CEO of Symbio, stated: “Fuel cell bipolar plates are a critical component of fuel cell systems. Innoplate serial production capability is instrumental in order to secure our strategic sourcing and enable enhanced system performance and an effective step-up in cost competitiveness. Symbio is honored to join forces with Schaeffler to reinforce the European supply chain for hydrogen fuel cells with an innovative production system and a cutting-edge technology.”

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