Renault and Plug Power develop fuel cell commercial vehicles

    PARIS (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault and US hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCVs), they said Tuesday.

    The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a 50-50 joint venture based in France by the end of June, aiming for a share of more than 30% of the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle market in Europe, states a joint statement.

    The news sent Plug Power’s shares up roughly 16% to a multi-year high of $ 62.65. The stock was trading at just over $ 3 at the end of 2019. Renault shares were up just over 2%.

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    The joint venture will combine Renault’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities with Plug Power’s knowledge of fuel cell and hydrogen systems manufacturing, creating a fuel cell stack and systems manufacturing center in France for integration in LCV platforms.

    The center will also provide hydrogen refueling systems.

    Plug Power, which has a market value of over $ 25 billion, claims to have implemented more than 40,000 fuel cell systems for electric mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest liquid hydrogen buyer.

    Renault, with a market value of over $ 13 billion, sold nearly 3.8 million vehicles in 134 countries in 2019. It has 40 local production units and employs over 180,000 people.

    Santander acted as Plug Power’s sole financial advisor.

    Report by GV De Clercq. Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia. Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter

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