Symbio opens SymphonHy, Europe’s largest gigafactory for fuel cells

Symbio SymphonHy

With the opening of SymphonHY, the group’s first Gigafactory, Symbio is confirming a change of scale. It will be one of Europe’s biggest production sites for fuel cell stacks and systems. Symbio’s ambition is to produce 15,000 systems by 2024, rising to 50,000 systems per year by 2026 reaching an impressive 200,000 systems per year worldwide by 2030.

A very well attended inauguration

The SymphonHY Gigafactory, located in Saint-Fons (France), was inaugurated in the presence Patrick Koller (CEO of Forvia), Florent Ménégaux (CEO of Michelin) and Carlos Tavares (CEO of Stellantis). The French Ministers for Energy Transition and Industry also attended the inauguration.

“Forvia believes that hydrogen technology is the only credible complementary alternative to battery-powered electrification. With Symbio, we cover 75% of the hydrogen mobility value chain, from fuel cells to storage systems,” said Patrick Koller.

Symbio is confident in the potential of the fuel cell and is counting on its partners. Forvia, for instance, is working on tanks that will take up less space. In addition, Stellantis’ decision to support business customers with private stations will make refuelling easier, until the AFIR directive takes effect around 2030. The hope is that by the same date, the price of hydrogen will have fallen to €5-6 per kilo instead of 10 today.

A word on Symbio’s history

Created in 2010, the French company began by exploiting a technology developed by the French Atomic Energy Authority (CEA) and put its first hydrogen Kangoo on the road in 2012. Michelin then acquired a minority stake in the company in 2014 before acquiring a 100% stake in 2018. Since then, things sped up. Forvia (in 2019) and then Stellantis (in 2023) have joined Michelin as equal stakeholders. From 150 people in 2020, Symbio has seen its workforce grow to 750.

The year 2023 was already a pivotal year for Symbio besides the inauguration of SymphonHY. Earlier this year, Symbio North America, opened a new site in Temecula, California, which was supported by the *CEC.

*CEC: California Energy Commission

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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