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Posted on May 16, 2024

Symbio, in partnership with Michelin, presents its first Hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck at ACT EXPO 2024

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Two years after announcing the “H2 Central Valley Express” project, Symbio unveils a hydrogen-fueled, regional-haul Class 8 truck developed and integrated by Symbio in California and outfitted with next-generation EV specific tires that offer improved fuel economy and reduced wear from Michelin.

The Symbio “H2 Central Valley Express” project aims to develop and demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell truck that matches the performance of a 15-liter diesel truck providing a zero-emission solution for demanding regional-haul trucking operations.

Symbio has designed, developed, and integrated a heavy-duty long-haul truck ready fuel cell powertrain, powered by Symbio’s fuel cell technology, into a Freightliner Cascadia class-8 tractor. The diesel engine has been replaced with Symbio’s 400 kW StackPack fuel cell system consisting of four packaged sub-systems of Symbio’s proprietary stack technology proven in the field with more than 5 million miles (8 million km) on-road experience. The heavy duty 400kW power system’s control strategy is optimized to deliver superior energy balance and power, meeting the functional requirements of the diesel truck. With a 70kg hydrogen tank onboard, the fuel cell truck is capable of over 450 miles per fueling event.

Michelin (co-shareholder of Symbio) provides next generation low-rolling resistance tires that combine safety, longevity and improved fuel efficiency, thus enhancing the total cost of ownership of the vehicle. The aim of this demonstration is to test the low-rolling resistance tires on a zero-emission truck. These tires are designed to handle higher torque loads under acceleration, which are different from those of internal combustion engine trucks. It is expected that the data collected will help determine the improvements needed to develop a tire applicable for the needs of hydrogen trucks.

Hydrogen is perfectly suited to decarbonize heavy-duty mobility, bringing distinctive advantages including long range, higher payload, fast refueling and a reduced total cost of ownership. It is particularly attractive for highly utilized commercial vehicles which need a longer driving range and faster refueling time to maximize uptime.

Rob Del Core, General Manager, Symbio North America. “We are thrilled to present the cutting-edge, innovative Symbio’s 400 kW heavy duty fuel cell stack that enables a significant engine weight reduction without compromise on performance. This hydrogen-powered class-8 fuel cell truck is testimonial of Symbio’s fuel cell technology leadership and system integration know-how,” said Rob Del Core, General Manager, Symbio North America.  “We thank the CEC, GTI Energy, and project partners for their support and dedication in making this sustainable and ambitious project a reality. This fuel cell truck development and demonstration constitute a major strategic step forward for Symbio in the United States, as we are developing and solidifying our US sales and manufacturing footprint.”

Alexis Garcin, President and CEO, Michelin North America. “Hydrogen plays a key role in Michelin’s all-sustainable approach and Symbio brings us with this announcement one step closer to becoming a world leader in hydrogen systems for mobility,” said Alexis Garcin, President and CEO, Michelin North America, Inc. “Equipped with Michelin low rolling resistance Tires and with the Symbio Hydrogen fuel cells, this breakthrough will accelerate the transition to a greener long haul transportation with extended range and fast charging time”.

Patty Monahan, Commissioner, California Energy Commission. “The CEC is proud to support Symbio’s development of their new fuel cell big rig in the Central Valley with the capability to drive up to 450 miles before needing to refuel with hydrogen. Replacing diesel with fuel cell trucks reduces harmful air pollution in communities and is another step toward to a zero-emission transportation goods movement system.”

Project partners include GTI Energy, a leading technology development organization creating impactful solutions that shape energy transitions, who leads the grant administration and program management, provides technical insight, and performs data collection and analysis. Other partners include Total Transportation Services (TTSI), the fleet operator, who will demonstrate the truck in revenue service, and Frontier Energy, who will conduct community outreach. Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Utilization Technology Development (UTD), a global collaboration of leading gas utilities, provide funding support.

Expected to hit the road by the end of 2024, the truck will run for 12 months on a challenging 400-mile (650 km) route between the Inland Empire and Northern San Joaquin Valley. The demonstration route consists of four distinct and challenging operating sections (120-mile L.A. Urban, Grapevine climb, Grapevine descent and 235-mile Central Valley high-speed). The vehicle will be storing 66.8kg of 700-bar hydrogen onboard with 2 intra-route fueling events in Central Valley. This hydrogen truck project strives to support California’s goal to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2045.

Symbio, a jointly owned subsidiary of Forvia, Michelin, and Stellantis, is a global hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer boasting more than 30 years of combined experience in hydrogen fuel cell system development and vehicle integration. Symbio has successfully entered the Hydrogen -powered market in Europe as strategic technology partner of Stellantis. Stellantis, one of the world's leading automakers, has been first to market a zero-emission hydrogen solution for light commercial vehicles. Leading the way in zero-emission solutions, the OEM offers the largest selection of electrified hydrogen-powered options with 8 light and medium commercial vehicle brands – Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen and e-Boxer Hydrogen, Citroen ë-Jumpy Hydrogen and ë-Jumper Hydrogen, Opel Vivaro-e Hydrogen and Movano Hydrogen, Fiat Professional e-Scudo Hydrogen and e-Ducato Hydrogen – being deployed in Europe, displaying a range of up to 500 km and a recharge time of less than 10 minutes. Furthermore, Stellantis is considering developing a hydrogen technology for its Ram brand pickups, in line with its aim of electrifying its portfolio of vehicles with a range of 320 miles ALVW or 200 miles GCWR and fast tank refilling, without compromising on payload capacity. All these vehicles will be equipped with fuel cells produced by Symbio.

Symbio, as a front runner Hydrogen player, is already operating the largest integrated Fuel Cell gigafactory in Europe, a world-class manufacturing and sustainability refence for its future industrial expansion. In addition to its CEC-supported pilot-plant based in Temecula, California, Symbio is currently exploring opportunities for a domestic gigafactory to underpin the development and production of 150 kW StackPack to support US market developments including the RAM-brand pickup prospect.

The H2 Central Valley Express demonstrator truck will be presented for this first time as a static display at ACT EXPO 2024.

About Symbio

Symbio is a leading technology and industrial partner for sustainable mobility pioneers. A front-runner in zero-emission hydrogen mobility, Symbio combines industrial leadership, breakthrough innovation, and entrepreneurial agility to create tailor-made solutions and support its clients in the deployment of their clean mobility roadmaps. Symbio designs and manufactures a wide range of StackPacks (preintegrated and pre-validated fuel cell systems) that meet all power, durability, and autonomy needs of on-road and off-road hydrogen mobility.

In 2023, Symbio inaugurated SymphonHy, the largest integrated fuel cells Gigafactory in Europe, with a capacity of 50,000 fuel cell systems per year by 2026. The Group ambitions to manufacture 200,000 StackPacks annually by 2030, to accelerate the deployment of clean mobility that is respectful of both the environment and health.

An equally owned joint venture between Forvia, Michelin, and Stellantis, Symbio combines over 30 years’ experience, and has a track record of more than 8 million kilometers driven by its solutions.

For more information, visit www.symbio.one

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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com