Groupe Renault has signed a memorandum of understanding with fuel cell company Plug Power, with the aim of developing hydrogen technology for LCVs.

The joint venture is due to launch by the middle of this year, and is aiming to take a 30% share of the European fuel cell LCV market.

The plan is to develop hydrogen LCVs based on existing and future Renault platforms, with an initial focus on developing vans based on the Trafic and Master.

Pilot fleet deployments of vehicles from the project are due to start in Europe later this year.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo said: “This joint-venture project is fully aligned with our strategy to offer market ready hydrogen solutions for LCVs. 

“With Plug Power, we will build a unique end-to-end fuel cell value chain and offer turn-key solutions for customers including vehicles, refueling stations and decarbonised hydrogen delivery.”

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said: “Plug Power prides itself on being at the leading edge of innovation in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Groupe Renault to become a leader of market fuel cell heavy vans in Europe.

“We look forward to working with our new partners to combine our technology with their decades long experience leading the European automotive market.”