Faurecia’s vision for hydrogen mobility
A commitment to hydrogen as the energy of the future
At Faurecia we are convinced that companies must have a positive impact on society. With environmental issues posing an ever-greater challenge to humanity, we are investing today to secure a sustainable world for future generations driven by zero-emissions mobility.
Expanding the use of hydrogen is a cornerstone of the energy transition. Green hydrogen could supply almost 20% of the world’s energy demand by 2050, and effectively eliminate 6 gigatons of CO2 emissions every year. Its natural abundance and versatility of production can help solve several critical challenges, from lowering emissions to alleviating dependence on global supply chains and bolstering energy security.
In mobility, hydrogen is perfectly suited to commercial, heavy-duty on- and off-road vehicles, as well as high-horsepower engines, giving it the potential to transform transportation and logistics. Beyond the benefits in terms of refueling time and autonomy, the total cost of ownership of fuel cell electric vehicles is set to overtake that of equivalent battery electric vehicles between 2023 and 2030. We conservatively estimate that there will be 2.5 million hydrogen vehicles sold in 2030. Of these vehicles, we forecast the following breakdown: 500,000 trucks and two million light commercial and passenger vehicles.
Faurecia, a global Tier 1 supplier mastering key hydrogen mobility solutions
With the ambition to be a world leader in hydrogen mobility, we have invested over €160 million in R&D, manufacturing, strategic partnerships and acquisitions over the past three years. As such, we are well-positioned on the two key elements of fuel cell systems which represent around 70% of the value chain. These are hydrogen storage systems, which we develop on our own, and fuel cell stacks produced by Symbio, a joint venture created with Michelin.
With cost-competitiveness and weight in mind, we are developing the next generations of hydrogen storage systems for commercial and light vehicles, heavy-duty trucks and industrial applications. Our production capacity stands today at 10,000 tanks per year. We aim to expand this exponentially between now and 2025 to 100,000 tanks per year across three sites: a high-capacity site in France, another site also in France dedicated to low-volume programs, and a plant in Asia in order to better serve this key market for hydrogen mobility.
Symbio is a game-changer for fuel cell stack systems, having already equipped 30 vehicle fleets that have travelled a total of 4 million kilometers to date. In St Fons at the heart of the Hydrogen Valley in Lyon, construction is under way for the largest industrial facility dedicated to the production of fuel cell stacks in Europe. With solutions covering all the relevant hydrogen applications, Symbio equips vehicles for leading European OEMs. Bringing together the complementary strengths of Faurecia and Michelin, Symbio is well-positioned to become a catalyst for the large-scale adoption of hydrogen mobility.
Hydrogen mobility is a reality today, and we have already been awarded by three global carmakers (PSA, Renault and Hyundai) to equip commercial and heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cell systems. In a first milestone for the off-road segment, we have partnered with Gaussin to develop hydrogen storage systems adapted to their logistics and port vehicles.
Fuel cell systems are set to represent a market of almost €17 billion by 2030, and Faurecia aims to be a world leader with 20% market share.
Innovation, competitiveness and industrialization, the next challenges
While we are on the way to the large-scale use of hydrogen in energy and mobility, certain obstacles remain. These include harmonizing the regulations governing hydrogen in different countries, accelerating green hydrogen production and lowering its costs, and ensuring reliable distribution networks.
Through innovation, technical optimization and scaling, the cost of fuel cell systems will continue to drop dramatically. Our objective is to divide the cost of hydrogen storage systems by four, and of stacks and other components by more than six by 2030.
At our global center of expertise dedicated to hydrogen storage systems in Bavans, France, unique in this sector, we’ve regrouped state-of-the-art equipment for R&D, industrial production, and safety tests under one roof. This allows us to develop new production processes and integrated technologies such as IoT sensors to lower costs, improve maintenance and durability, and accelerate industrialization. By using innovative materials and improving recyclability, we are also strengthening the circular economy and developing new after-sales business models.
The decade of hydrogen has begun. The commitment various governments, regional organizations, and industrial actors have made to invest in the hydrogen supply chain will prove invaluable to unlocking its potential and achieving objectives to control climate change. By continuing to invest in our fuel cell ecosystem and developing partnerships across the supply chain, our ambition is to become a world leader in a field that will revolutionize mobility.