French carmaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces to develop hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCV), they said on Tuesday.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a France-based 50-50 joint venture by the end of June, targeting a more than 30% share of the fuel cell-powered LCV market in Europe, a joint statement said.
The news sent shares in Plug Power up by about 16% to a multi-year high of $62.65. The stock traded at little more than $3 at the end of 2019. Renault shares rose just over 2%.
The joint venture will combine Renault’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities with the fuel cell and hydrogen system manufacturing knowledge of Plug Power, establishing a fuel cell stack and system manufacturing centre in France for integration into LCV platforms.
The centre will also provide hydrogen refuelling systems.
Plug Power, which has a market value of more than $25 billion, says it has deployed over 40,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen.
Renault, with a market value of over $13 billion, sold close to 3.8 million vehicles in 134 countries in 2019. It has 40 manufacturing sites, and employs more than 180,000 people.
Santander acted as Plug Power’s sole financial adviser.