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Apr 13

Michelin and Partners to Develop Hydrogen Truck in California

The Symbio H2 Central Valley Express project to demonstrate benefits and reliability of hydrogen mobility for heavy duty transportation

SAN DIEGOApril 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected Symbio, Michelin, Faurecia along with GTI and other industry partners, to develop and demonstrate a hydrogen-fueled, regional-haul Class 8 truck, as major contributors to a state-supported hydrogen mobility project.

The “Symbio H2 Central Valley Express” project, supported with $2 million from the CEC, will develop and demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell truck that matches the performance of a 15-liter diesel truck providing a zero-emission solution for demanding regional-haul trucking operations. Starting in the second half of 2023, the truck will run for 12 months on a challenging 400-mile route between the Inland Empire and Northern San Joaquin Valley. Located inside California natural gas investor-owned utility territory, it will utilize existing and future hydrogen infrastructure primarily provided by Air Liquide, Shell and Trillium’s. This hydrogen truck project strives to support California’s goal to achieve economy wide carbon neutrality by 2045.

Rob Del Core, General Manager, Symbio North America. “We are thrilled with this award – a testimonial of Symbio’s recognized fuel-cell technology leadership and system integration know-how. We thank CEC for their vote of confidence in this team. This demonstration constitutes a major strategic inroad in the region where Symbio is stepping-up our investments in workforce and engineering integration capabilities in California. Ultimately through this project and the contributions of the whole team, we are determined to address current commercialization barriers and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen-based heavy-duty mobility solutions in the goods movement market.”

Alexis Garcin, Chairman and President, Michelin North America“We see this grant as a resounding vote of confidence from the California Energy Commission. Being chosen from a pool of strong applicants shows that Symbio is regarded as a tier-one name in hydrogen mobility. Michelin and Faurecia promote hydrogen through this joint venture, as we believe there is a way to develop mobility while protecting the environment. Hydrogen technology is a vital element in the electric vehicle revolution because it not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also a faster-charging, longer-range option for electric vehicles. This award is a big step in our commitment to sustainable development and mobility.” 

Jose-Vicente March, Zero Emission General Manager, Faurecia. “This special project showcases the strength of a unique ecosystem of partners with innovative technologies of which Faurecia is proud to be a part of, in a region that is leading the future of clean energy. We appreciate the trust given to us by the California Energy Commission to enhance hydrogen technology solutions for heavy duty mobility. It shows great confidence in Faurecia’s hydrogen storage systems’ expertise and strategic vision for hydrogen mobility as a cornerstone of the energy transition”.

Hydrogen is perfectly suited to decarbonize heavy duty mobility, bringing distinctive advantages including more autonomy, higher payload, a shorter refueling time and a reduced total cost of ownership. It is particularly attractive for highly utilized commercial vehicles which need a longer driving range and faster refueling time to maximize uptime.

Faurecia, company of the Group FORVIA, will bring its recognized expertise in hydrogen storage systems by providing a complete hydrogen storage system with five 700 bar homologated tanks. At the heart of a growing ecosystem, leveraging commercial and technological partnerships, Faurecia covers 75% of the hydrogen powertrain and offers best-in-class solutions. In addition to the company’s manufacturing global footprint, systems integration know-how, and R&D hydrogen center of expertise, Faurecia has a proven record of hydrogen commercial and light commercial vehicles on the road with international OEMs including Stellantis, Hyundai and Hyvia.

For their part, Michelin will provide low-rolling resistance tires that combine safety, longevity, environmental protection and increased load capacity. With these technologically advanced tires, adapted for heavy duty transportation, Michelin is supporting the transition to cleaner, more efficient electric mobility solutions that offer greater range. In 20 years, the energy efficiency of our tires has increased by 20%. Michelin also brings nearly 20 years of experience in developing hydrogen fuel-cell technologies.

Symbio will design, develop, and integrate a heavy-duty long-haul truck ready fuel cell powertrain powered by Symbio’s fuel cell stack technology – StackPack, coupled with Faurecia’s hydrogen storage system and Michelin’s low resistance tires into a Freightliner Cascadia platform. Symbio, a jointly owned subsidiary of Faurecia and Michelin, is a global hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer boasting more than 30 years of combined experience in hydrogen fuel-cell system development and vehicle integration, and it’s proud to have been chosen by Stellantis for its deployment of Hydrogen-powered Light Commercial Vehicles, the first of its kind in the world. Furthermore, the Group is building one of Europe’s largest hydrogen fuel-cell plants and a world-class innovation center in Lyon, France that is to become operational in 2023, along with additional projects to expand its footprint in North America and globally.

GTI, a leading research and training organization creating solutions that shape energy transitions, will lead the grant administration, provide technical insight and program management as well as perform data collection. Other project partners include Total Transportation Services (TTSI), the fleet operator that will demonstrate the truck, Frontier Energy for community outreach, and Ricardo Strategic Consulting for demonstration data analysis. Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Utilization Technology Development (UTD), a global collaboration of leading natural gas utilities, will provide funding support.

Source: Faurecia

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