Michelin, tyre manufacturer and creator of the rolly-polly ‘Michelin Man’, has invested an undisclosed but ‘significant’ amount in Symbio FCell, a French manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells.
Symbio already have a test fleet of cars on the roads in Europe using their technology. It has taken some all-electric Renault Kangoo ZE vans and integrated its fuel cell technology to enhance the range of these cars.
Currently in use by La Poste, the French postal service, the adapted vans are said to have a range of twice what the standard electric-only vans have. Fabio Ferrari, President of Symbio FCell, said: “This second round of funding gives us the financial resources we need to proceed with the industrializstion of our solutions. With the arrival of the Michelin Group as a shareholder, we strengthen our technology leadership, our potential for innovation, as well as our credibility and our market presence. We couldn’t have imagined a better partner for our industrial project”.
The additional funds will be used to advance Symbio’s technology on the path to industrialisation. Michelin brings its experience to the table having been working on the development of hydrogen fuel cells itself.
Prashant Prabhu, Director of the Michelin Incubator Program Office, said: “By becoming a shareholder in Symbio FCell, Michelin will be in a position to have SymbioFCell benefit from technological experience in the field of fuel cell in favour of sustainable mobility.Symbio FCell will acquire the means to furnish the products its customers expect while meeting the high quality standards of the automotive industry.”
Do you think this is a good use of hydrogen fuel cells? Would you consider buying an electric car with a hydrogen range extender? Let us know in the comments.
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