PARIS — Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power launched a joint venture to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles.
The new venture, called Hyvia, will be equally owned by the two companies, Renault and Plug Power said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Hyvia’s activities will be carried out at existing Renault facilities in France, with the head office and the R&D teams located at the automaker’s light commercial vehicle engineering and development center in Villiers-Saint-Frederic.
The process, manufacturing and logistics teams will be based in Flins, where assembly of fuel cells and recharging stations will begin by the end of the year.
Renault currently has fuel cell variants of the Master and the small Kangoo van, with several hundred units of the Kangoo on the road in Europe, with a range of about 350 km (218 miles).
The first new vehicles from the joint venture will be based on the Renault Master and will be built at the Batilly plant. The vans will have a range of 500 km to 600 km (310-370 miles), Renault’s head of engineering, Gilles Le Borgne, said when the venture was announced in January.
The joint venture will be chaired by David Holderbach, who the companies said has over 20 years of experience in strategic, product and international sales at Renault.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report.
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