Michelin Invests in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Company

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.

The adapted Kangoo ZE vans have twice the range of the standard electric ones.

The adapted Kangoo ZE vans have twice the range of the standard electric ones.

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.

This is what a hydrogen fuel cell looks like.

This is what a hydrogen fuel cell looks like.

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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  • We always hear about companies investing in Hydrogen based Fuel Cell technologies, but we never hear about the goals or results. This another investment of a “significant but undisclosed” amount u2026 seems so odd when the business community is so focused on ROI.nnFor once wish details on a production fuel cell where shared, including specs for: n – hardware costn – max. sustained power output (kW, Amp)n – operational life (hours)n – operational cost (flowrate of fuel, and cost of fuel)n – operational parameters (minimum/maximum temperature, max operation altitude)nnIn relation to the tyre company; what kind of range and operational costs are they expecting? It would be interesting if they compared the fuel cell setup with a compressed natural gas range extender (generator) which should have similar low emissions and perhaps lower fuel costs.

  • Surya

    So that’s a range extended EV then, only the rex runs on h2?

  • lad76

    Gotta tell ‘ya; I don’t like the idea of fuel cells because the hydrogen is created from reforming fossil fuels and it’s distribution and pricing is controlled by the oil companies, which means they still have their hands in your pocket.

  • Max

    Having taken a quick look at http://www.hydrogencarguide.com I would definitely be interested in owning a hydrogen fuel cell car. Once local filling stations are available (for which there is significant global investment), I could drive an emission free vehicle with the refuelling time and driving range of a petrol engine. The hydrogen could be manufactured using clean electricity (such as from wind turbines), but even if made by reforming natural gas has much lower ‘well to wheel’ carbon emissions than petrol or diesel fuel. What is not to like?!

  • Brian Bradfield

    When my wife and I bought a last car (new) and few years ago, we decided then that we will not buy another new car unless its powered by hydrogen. With solar panels, I figure I can generate hydrogen from my own resources without having to pay a visit to my local gas station. I really dont like the idea of USA buying oil and their byproducts from people who really dont like us.