Symbio and Schaeffler JV set to produce fuel cell components in Europe

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Symbio, a Michelin and Faurecia hydrogen company, and Schaeffler have signed an agreement for the creation of a 50:50 joint venture to produce fuel cell bipolar plates (BPP), with the new company’s first plane to be located in Haguenau, in the Alsace region of France.

The companies say that the new JV, which is set to be operational under the brand name Innoplate by the end of the year, will accelerate 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. Start of production of the JV is planned for early 2024 with an initial capacity of 4,000,000 BPP per year, and an aim to ultimately produce 50,000,000 BPP globally.

Innoplate will, it is hoped, enable and accelerate the mass-production of next generation BPP with Symbio and Schaeffler being the JV’s exclusive customers. Symbio has over 30 years of accumulated experience in developing fuel cell systems and offers a complete range of compact StackPacks, pre-validated and pre-integrated hydrogen systems that meet all requirements in terms of power and durability for zero-emission mobility.

Schaeffler will utilize its expertise in precise forming and stamping technologies, and a deep process know-how for large scale production of metallic bipolar plates. Within Schaeffler, these are being used for electrolysers for the production of hydrogen and as a key element of fuel cell stacks for all types of mobile and stationary fuel cell applications.

Philippe Rosier, CEO of Symbio, commented, “Metallic fuel cell bipolar plates are a strategic high added value component of the fuel cell system. Innoplate will be instrumental to secure serial production capability underpinning our customers’ programs and the hydrogen mobility market uptake, while accelerating enhanced system performance and an effective step-up in cost competitiveness of our solutions. Furthermore, it is testimonial of Symbio’s engagement to build technological and industrial leadership in Europe.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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