Symbio FCell, a pioneering company in fuel cell technology and inventors of the first range extender for hybrid (combined electricity and hydrogen) vehicles, has conducted a new round of fundraising and brought ENGIE into the ranks of its investors.
The funds raised give Symbio FCell the means to develop faster, particularly in the field of hydrogen mobility. “ENGIE’s arrival alongside Michelin sends a strong signal to businesses and governments that have chosen to become players in the energy transition and want to get access to solutions that can be rapidly operationalized” says Fabio Ferrari, CEO of Symbio FCell.
ENGIE, as a player in the green mobility market, has taken steps to speed up the development of alternative energies, including in electric transportation. Having installed more than 5,000 charging stations in Europe, the Group is now helping to encourage the use of hydrogen in electric mobility. By joining Michelin in investing in Symbio FCell, ENGIE will take an active part in the evolution of hydrogen uses and already experiments the installation of H2 infrastructures.
“This project perfectly illustrates the Group’s commitment to developing hydrogen-powered transportation by teaming up with industry partners. ENGIE wants to develop green mobility and especially alternative green energies, deploying NGV as an alternative fuel, or electric mobility, with EV charging stations being installed in Europe, or innovative solutions dealing with hydrogen ” says Thierry Lepercq, Executive Vice-President at ENGIE.
For its part, Michelin reaffirmed its confidence in Symbio FCell by participating in the second round of funding, thereby becoming the company’s main shareholder. This investment shows that Michelin expects to reap the benefits of diving directly into an external ecosystem as a way of supporting innovation. And the way is has chosen to do is revelatory: working with successful entrepreneurs and getting its internal incubation program (IPO) involved in the field of sustainable mobility for people and goods.
“Michelin is a player in the field of sustainable mobility and considers hydrogen to be one key component of this domain. Symbio FCell’s approach kick-starts profitable hydrogen mobility services that meet urban needs, prior to the massive arrival of mainstream H2 vehicles” notes Laurent Noual, member of the Executive Committee of the Michelin Group.
Transportation is responsible for 23% of CO2 emissions in the world, and the sector is still 95% reliant on oil-based fuels. The transition to cleaner and more sustainable forms of mobility is therefore essential, especially in cities, where three of four people in the world will live by 2050. Hydrogen is an alternative energy that will help to greatly reduce CO2 emissions in the sector while also improving air quality, especially in urban centers.