Schaeffler & Symbio JV Starts Fuel Cell Plate Production

Innoplate aims at accelerating the production of next generation bipolar plates for the entire proton exchange membrane fuel cell market

Schaeffler & Symbio JV Starts Fuel Cell Plate Production
Schaeffler & Symbio JV Starts Fuel Cell Plate Production
Schaeffler & Symbio JV Starts Fuel Cell Plate Production

Haguenau, France- Innoplate, a joint venture of Schaeffler AG., and Symbio., opened a new plant in Haguenau, France, for fuel cell bipolar plates (BPP). These plates are crucial for fuel cell technology. Innoplate's initial capacity is 4 million plates annually, set to increase to 50 million by 2030, fueling hydrogen mobility in Europe.

They teamed up at Innoplate to mass-produce advanced metallic bipolar plates for fuel cells, supporting the rise of hydrogen-powered mobility. Innoplate aims to boost production of these plates for the entire PEM fuel cell market, improving performance and cost-effectiveness. Schaeffler brings industrial expertise in steel processing, while Symbio contributes fuel cell design know-how. Production has commenced, with plates already being used in Symbio fuel cell systems. 

Mr. Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, said: “At Schaeffler we are convinced that hydrogen will play a fundamental role in the sustainable mobility of tomorrow, especially in the heavy-duty area. By starting the production of next generation bipolar plates for fuel cells in our joint venture Innoplate together with Symbio, we are proud that our innovative production technologies and industrial know-how can contribute to both cleaner and climate friendly mobility, and to strengthen the Franco-German partnership.” 

Mr. Philippe Rosier, CEO of Symbio, said, “Fuel cell bipolar plates are a critical component of fuel cell systems. Innoplate serial production capability is instrumental in order to secure our strategic sourcing and enable enhanced system performance and an effective step-up in cost competitiveness. Symbio is honored to join forces with Schaeffler to reinforce the European supply chain for hydrogen fuel cells with an innovative production system and a cutting-edge technology.” 

The Innoplate plant in Haguenau, France, is bolstering European hydrogen industry and supply chains, crucial for decarbonizing economy and mobility. It's the first mass-production of bipolar plates in Europe, supported by the France 2030 program. The plant, near Schaeffler's site, aims to create 120 jobs by 2030, built with high sustainability standards for net zero-emission operations. 

Innoplate Managing Directors Mr. Alain Haag and Mr. Cédric Handwerk to the event. In their joint speech, Alain Haag and Cédric Handwerk, Managing Directors of Innoplate, spoke about the challenges they have mastered together with their teams in a very short timeframe. “Only eighteen months ago Innoplate was constituted. As soon as the concrete was dry, machines, tooling and a laboratory have been installed while setting up the appropriate IT infrastructure,” said Alain Haag. “And we succeeded – from zero to four million units within such a short period, and most importantly without any accidents or delays. We are ready to ramp up production.” Cédric Handwerk added: “We want to thank our Innoplate team here onsite for their extraordinary efforts and our mother companies, Symbio and Schaeffler, for their unwavering support.” 

About Symbio

Symbio is a sustainable mobility with zero-emission hydrogen solutions, offering tailor-made StackPacks fuel cell systems. In 2023, it opened SymphonHy, Europe's largest fuel cell Gigafactory aiming to produce 200,000 StackPacks annually by 2030.