Unleashing Europe’s Largest Hydrogen Fuel Cell Gigafactory

A new gigafactory for hydrogen fuel cells by Michelin, Stellantis and Forvia has been unveiled in 's Rhone region, marking a milestone in the country's automotive industry.

Symbio Gigafactory: A New Powerhouse in Fuel Cell Production

At 26,000 m², this gigafactory is the largest integrated site for hydrogen fuel cell production in Europe. Expansion plans are already underway to increase its size to 40,000 m². The facility is managed by the joint company, Symbio, whose primary owners are Michelin, Stellantis and Forvia. With the objective to create a global powerhouse in fuel cell production, the trio aims to roll out as many as 50,000 units annually by 2026, starting with a production target of 16,000 units per year.

A Major Industrial Advance with Significant Investments

Symbio's ambitious plans have received financial backing of 600 million euros from local authorities and the French government. The funding is part of the industrial project “HyMotive”, endorsed by the and the French government. A second gigafactory, with an annual production capacity of up to 100,000 systems, is scheduled to be set up in France from 2028.

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Global Aspirations and North American Market Entry

Symbio's global aspirations are set on a production number of 200,000 units by 2030. The company envisages tapping into the North American market through Stellantis' large vans and Ram pickups. To support this vision, Symbio has an operational pilot plant in California, which will initially source its supply from the group's European operations.

Driving Sustainable Mobility Forward

This gigafactory is not merely a significant industrial advancement for France, but it's also a statement of commitment to sustainable mobility. Stellantis believes hydrogen vehicles could offer a compelling alternative over traditional fuel options, characterised by quick charging capabilities and extended driving range. In fact, the automaker claims its large vans will offer a range of up to 500 km with a recharge time of less than 10 minutes.

Success of the Symbio gigafactory could bring about a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. This could pave the path for hydrogen to assume a central role in the future of sustainable mobility.

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