France’s government has launched a national hydrogen strategy valued at seven billion euros, and aims to build up capacity for hydrogen from non-fossil sources by 2030. Michelin applauds this step and has reiterated its commitment to its own goals in this field. The company says its work here will mean a “significant share” of its business will be non-tyre related in a decade’s time. Fabio Ferrari, co-founder of Symbio, is tasked with leading the development of Michelin’s Hydrogen Mobility strategy and supporting its deployment.
A priority at the COP 23 climate change conference now being held in Germany is to emphasise the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Transport, which is responsible for 23 per cent of worldwide CO2 emissions, is at the forefront of concerns. Electromobility is generously served up as an elixir on occasions such as this, however battery driven electric cars remain a niche market. An alternate form of electric propulsion, one that many in the UK first saw when James May tested the Honda FCX Clarity on Top Gear back in 2008, may hold the key to the door of high volume uptake. This is hydrogen fuel cell, a technology that tyre maker Michelin actively supports.
Michelin has become the majority shareholder in Symbio FCell in the latest round of fundraising conducted by the French hydrogen fuel cell technology company. This fundraising round also saw energy company Engie come on board as an investor. Symbio FCell states that the funds raised give it “the means to develop faster, particularly in the field of hydrogen mobility.”
Fuel cell system specialist Symbio FCell reports that Michelin has taken a “significant minority stake” in its business. This acquisition was made as part of a capital increase, and Symbio FCell views Michelin as more than just a shareholder: “Michelin, by virtue of its considerable research and development in hydrogen fuel cells and sustainable mobility, brings value to this partnership,” wrote Symbio FCell in a statement on 6 May.