India deal to drive Australian hydrogen startup H2X’s global expansion


Australian hydrogen-powered vehicle maker H2X Global has signed a binding agreement with Indian automotive components manufacturer and supplier Advik Hi-Tech establishing a joint venture (JV) company to manufacture and market hydrogen fuel cells, generators and vehicles in India.

H2X has retained a 49% stake in the JV company with Advik, which has more than $100 million in annual revenues, to hold the majority share.

The new JV will manufacture fuel cells, generators and vehicles designed and developed by the Victorian-based H2X team and will build a global supply chain of products and components for hydrogen-powered vehicles and powered products.

H2X, led by automotive industry veteran Brendan Norman who has worked for BMW and VW in Australia and Asia, said in a statement production is “scheduled to start immediately to cater for the rapidly growing demand for hydrogen-powered equipment and vehicles in India”.

Norman said the Indian market is critical to the long-term success of the hydrogen industry and H2X’s partnership with Advik will be critical to the company’s growth.

“We have long believed India is one of the great manufacturing powers of the world and we have found a great player in the automotive Industry in Advik,” he said.

“The cooperation between our companies gives us great strength in being able to address India but also to provide us with a strong manufacturing backbone to support our production activities in Australia and other parts of the world as well.”

Advik will manufacture the Australian-designed range of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Image: H2X

According to its website, H2X has developed its own proprietary fuel cell and powertrain system. This system is at the crux of the company’s various light equipment vehicles. These are expected to include a van, minibus, SUV, and a ute. The technology itself is designed to drastically reduce refuelling time and increase driving range.

In a joint statement, the two companies said they had for the past 12 months been working together for the past 12 months to explore opportunities for hydrogen in India and the JV will establish them as a key player in the booming market.

“India is destined to be a leader in the hydrogen industry with strong support from government and industry and as a company which has always been ahead of the curve we are aggressively pushing into the hydrogen space as a core growth area for our company and as a leader of this movement in the country,” Advik managing director Aditya Bhartia said.

“We have great confidence in the product range from H2X as being one with several key opportunities to support to deployment of hydrogen in the Indian market and together with our local knowledge and expertise we see great opportunity to develop this for acceleration of the Indian clean energy movement.”

A core manufacturer and supplier of automotive components to almost all major original equipment manufacturers, Advik will not only manufacture H2X’s fuel cells, generators and vehicles. It will also supply the Australian company with products and components and will use its existing network to distribute H2X’s products into the Indian and international markets.

The JV company is set to commence manufacturing operations with production of H2X’s series of hydrogen powered generators.

H2X said it currently has two of these units ready for deployment in Australia but the first generators manufactured by the JV will be put into service with a large-scale power system to be installed at Advik’s research and development centre in Pune, India.

The first products from the JV are set to be delivered to the market within the coming few months, with the power system in Pune being the highlight of the launch of the venture.

Advik will manufacture the H2X products at its facilities spread across India.

Image: Advik

“The opportunity for us to be able to launch a product to the Indian market at this early stage is reflective of the passion we have at Advik to lead our country and the world in terms of being active in new technological advancement,” Aditya said.

“We strongly believe that through our partnership with H2X we come into a position where we can become a global leader in the hydrogen revolution and strongly position the growth of hydrogen in India as a strong pillar of growth into the future.”

H2X is also looking to establish manufacturing operations in Malaysia after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-owned Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to form a joint venture for the manufacturing, assembly and development of a range of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Under the agreement, the JV will manufacture a range of vehicles, including H2X’s Warrego ute, as well as buses and hydrogen-powered generators.

H2X has also teamed with SEDC and renewables developer Thales New Energy to develop a 1.3 GW hydrogen export facility powered by hydroelectricity in Sarawak.

The agreement with see the trio form an incorporated JV to develop the Samalaju Hydrogen Production Plant, which is proposed to be capable of producing as much as 170,000 tonnes per year of liquid hydrogen or 970,000 tonnes per year of ammonia for export.

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