French automotive supplier Faurecia SA is building a “global center of expertise” for hydrogen storage systems at its R&D campus in Bavans, France.
The company aims to invest in R&D activities to develop new-generation high-pressure tanks that are more efficient and lighter, Faurecia said in a release.
Set to open in the second quarter of 2020, the center represents an investment of approximately 25 million euros ($28 million), of which 4.9 million euros ($6 million) was supported by Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional government.
In the long term, Faurecia plans to create 50 highly qualified jobs at the site, which already has nearly 750 employees dedicated to Faurecia’s clean mobility activity.
“The creation of our hydrogen tank center of expertise in France is a key step forward in Faurecia’s strategy to become a global leader in fuel cell systems,” said Christophe Schmitt, executive vice-president of Faurecia Clean Mobility.
The technology, said Schmitt, can play an important role in zero emission mobility if “perfectly adapted to commercial and heavy goods vehicles.”
According to Marie-Guite Dufay, president of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, hydrogen technology is a long-standing, mature and recognized sector in the region.
“It has a robust ecosystem, with large industrial groups, structuring facilities, pioneering territories, and projects of an extremely large scale,” she added.
Faurecia intensified its investment in hydrogen fuel technology when it announced in May it will work with Stelia Aerospace Composites to develop carbon fiber composite tanks for fuel cells. Together they are also developing high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
In March, it signed a memorandum of understanding with tire & rubber company Michelin to set up a 50/50 joint venture company, Symbio, to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems.
Faurecia has also been developing technological fuel cell expertise in partnership with the CEA (French alternative energies and atomic energy commission) since October 2017. The two sides are specifically working on fuel cell stack technologies.