Michelin focuses on hydrogen and new 3D printing technologies

Michelin focuses on hydrogen and new 3D printing technologies

Like most automotive manufacturing companies, Michelin has been hit hard by the pandemic and, despite expecting a recovery by 2022, has well thought of focusing on new technologies. The well-known French manufacturer has therefore made it official that it will devote part of its industrial work to hydrogen, betting on the growing demand for new vehicles for the next few years.

Not surprisingly, the Clermont-Ferrand-based company has decided to devote itself to production of hydrogen fuel cells thanks to a joint work that sees it interested in the Symbio joint-venture, born with one of the largest manufacturers of automotive components in the world. Both, in fact, bet on the demand for hydrogen vehicles which could inevitably undergo a decisive growth.

While remaining faithful to our DNA, the company's profile will evolve considerably by 2030, with a more important role for new high-value businesses around and beyond tire manufacturing. Michelin is convinced that hydrogen mobility will be one of the essential components of clean mobility, complementary to batteries. However, hydrogen goes far beyond mobility: it is a very interesting solution to combat CO2 emissions and air pollution, said Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux.

With the new plan, Michelin is therefore in favor of the new hydrogen strategy announced by France, to position itself as one of the world leaders in the sector. However, Michelin itself aims to reach 30% of sales by 2030, including fuel cells, composites and 3D printing. According to Automotive News, the company has in fact decided to further optimize the projects, developing what will become the largest hydrogen systems factory in Europe. More specifically, the French plant in Saint-Fons will be responsible for the supply of fuel cells for a new range of commercial vehicles of the Stellantis group.

Thanks to its production and use flexibility, hydrogen is becoming essential for the energy transition. In particular, steelmaking, chemicals, heating and, of course, transport can now be carbon-free thanks to this element.

The joint venture is reportedly aiming for a turnover which is around 1.5 billion euros with a global market share, by the end of the decade, of 12% for fuel cells. Benefiting from the European aid made available to encourage entry into the renewable hydrogen sector will certainly be one of Symbio's prerogatives.

It is also, by far, one of the few technologies that promote industrial and energy sovereignty for Europe. For all these reasons, hydrogen represents a strategic growth area for Michelin. A significant share of the group's business will actually be non-tire-related in ten years, the CEO added.

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