French automaker Renault and U.S. hydrogen specialist Plug Power have joined forces for developing hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles (LCV), they said on Tuesday.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce a France-based 50-50 joint venture by the end of June, targeting over 30% share of the fuel cell-powered LCV market in Europe.
The news sent shares in Plug Power up by about 16% to a multi-year high of $62.65. The stock traded at a little over $3 at the end of 2019. Renault shares rose by just more than 2%.
The joint venture will combine the automaker’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities with the fuel cell and hydrogen system manufacturing expertise of Plug Power, forming a fuel cell stack and system manufacturing center in France for integration into LCV platforms.
The center will also offer hydrogen refueling systems.
Plug Power, which has a market value of over $25 billion, says it has deployed more than 40,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, higher 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 worldwide and employs over 180,000 people.
Santander acted as Plug Power’s only financial adviser.