HOPIUM CHOOSES NORMANDY FOR ITS FIRST INDUSTRIAL SITE
PARIS, Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Hopium, the first French manufacturer of high-end hydrogen powered vehicles, announces the deployment of its industrial site near Vernon, in Normandy. This strategic choice is part of the company’s ambition to develop its hydrogen-powered sedan models in France. The 85-acre site, located in the area of Douains, will house the first production lines, which will have a capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year, as well as an R&D center.
The infrastructure will be commissioned at the end of 2024, with an inauguration scheduled for early 2025. The Vernon site will eventually employ more than 1,500 people in all its divisions, and thus intends to contribute to the economic dynamism of the region.
“This is a major project that will contribute to France’s industrial renewal. We chose Normandy, a region that we believe has all the assets needed to host the factory of the future, starting with its unique geographic location between Paris and the Channel, reinforced by the Seine Axis, its industrial basin and its rich innovation hub, in which we are now involved in. Hopium, by selecting this site for the location of its cutting-edge infrastructure, is completing another decisive step in its roadmap, which should lead to the launch of the first Hopium Māchina models on the market in late 2025. I would like to thank the local and regional stakeholders as well as all the Hopium teams, who are invested in the implementation of the project,” says Olivier Lombard, CEO of Hopium.
“This project is excellent news for Normandy and is further proof of the economic dynamism of our region. It will also contribute to the development of the hydrogen industry in Normandy. Normandy, a leading industrial region, is a pioneer in the development of this promising sector. In order to strengthen the place of hydrogen in the energy transition, Normandy was the first French region to adopt its Hydrogen Plan in 2018. Nearly one third of the national consumption of hydrogen is in Normandy, particularly in the chemical and petrochemical sectors as well as in the aerospace sector with the presence of the Ariane Group test site. With a network of recharging stations and hydrogen vehicles established throughout the region and the world’s first hydrogen retrofitted coach being tested on an intercity line, the Region is already a leader in hydrogen mobility,” says Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region.
The President of Seine Normandie Agglomeration, Frédéric Duché, and its President Delegate for Economic Attractiveness and Innovation, François Ouzilleau, expressed their pride in hosting Hopium’s first industrial site on their territory. They also emphasized the strong local will to support this innovative project, both at the level of the prefectural services, under the impetus of the prefect, and the municipality, thanks to the support of its Mayor, Vincent Leroy, and his municipal team.
“We would like to thank Hopium’s directors for their trust, and especially Olivier Lombard, for this strategic choice of location in the Normandie Parc, located less than an hour from Paris and in the immediate vicinity of the A13 highway. The advantages of the Vernon train station, just a few minutes away from the site, as well as the local ecosystem that is developing on the issues of hydrogen at the Campus de l’Espace were key factors, a guarantee of the dynamism of the Eure department and of Normandy on the challenges of these new technologies,” says François Ouzilleau.
Founded by Olivier Lombard, winner of the 2011 Le Mans 24 hours race, Hopium is the result of his experience acquired on the racing tracks. Olivier Lombard drove hydrogen-powered race cars for 7 years, making him the most experienced pilot in this field. As an open-air laboratory, the race has allowed Olivier Lombard and his team to reflect on new mobility solutions to meet today’s environmental challenges. While the transportation sector alone is responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, the company is positioning itself as a player in the fight against the climate change. Hopium brings together a team of experts and leading partners at the forefront of innovation in the fields of hydrogen fuel cells, technology, and automotive engineering.