French tyre maker Michelin and automotive technology company Faurecia have formalised the creation of Symbio, a joint venture combining all their hydrogen fuel cell dedicated activities, with the aim of becoming a world leader in hydrogen mobility. Built around a unique ecosystem, this joint venture is tasked with developing, producing and marketing hydrogen fuel cell systems for light vehicles, commercial vehicles and trucks as well as for other areas of electromobility.
Michelin and Faurecia will initially invest EUR140 million in the joint venture in order to accelerate the development of new-generation fuel cells, launch mass production and increase business in Europe, China and the US. Symbio aims to capture 25% market share and achieve a turnover of around EUR1.5 billion by 2030. The joint venture will eventually have three industrial sites supplying the world’s main automotive markets: Europe, Asia and the US.
Michelin and Faurecia’s expertise makes it possible to offer a complete range of hydrogen fuel cell systems covering all types of mobility uses. Faurecia is contributing its technological hydrogen mobility expertise and the results of R&D work carried out with the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission). Michelin, for its part, is contributing the know-how of its subsidiary Symbio, an equipment manufacturer supplying hydrogen fuel cell kits as well as a range of services and design and production activities.
Electric mobility demand is expected to increase significantly between now and 2030, with hydrogen powered vehicles accounting for 2 million vehicles of which 350,000 trucks. As the only zero emission solution that complements battery-powered electric cars, hydrogen technology is essential in accelerating the deployment of electromobility and addressing its three major challenges: improving air quality, reducing CO2 emissions and the energy transition.
Equally owned by the two firms, Symbio will be managed by Michelin, Faurecia and Symbio executives with significant experience in the automotive industry and in managing a fast-growing business.
As a result, Fabio Ferrari has been appointed CEO, while Guillaume Salvo, formerly Director of the Light Vehicle Product Line at Faurecia, has been appointed COO.
Florent Menegaux, Michelin Group President said, “The formal creation of our joint venture with Michelin is another important step in Faurecia’s strategy to become a world leader in hydrogen systems. The complementarity of our expertise and business models brought together in an innovative ecosystem, will be a considerable asset in meeting the growing demand from our customers and consumers to see affordable zero emission technologies brought to market quickly.”
Patrick Koller, Faurecia CEO, “I founded Symbio almost ten years ago to work towards a world where the freedom to move comes with zero emissions. By creating this joint venture, Michelin and Faurecia are demonstrating that they too share this vision.”