Similar to Tesla years ago, completely new players are now entering the market in the fuel cell sector, with the potential to mess up the previous business of vehicle manufacturers. In May 2019, the Chinese start-up Grove Hydrogen Automotive Co., Ltd. presented itself to the public for the first time after three years of preparation.
The Wuhan-based company’s repertoire includes two fuel cell studies that were shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in April: the Limousine Granite and the SUV Obsidian. The Granite, with its range of about 1,000 km, could go into series production in 2021. CEO Prof. Yiguo Hao is already preparing cooperations with various cities and car rental companies in order to be able to bring the vehicles onto the market.
The company was founded in 2017 by the Chinese Institute of Geosciences and Environment (IGE), which also wants to set up an H2 infrastructure. Grove has so far had development partnerships with Pininfarina, Hofer Powertrain and the FEV Group, and is drawing on the expertise of Christopher Reitz, who has already worked for Fiat, Nissan and Volkswagen, as Chief Design Officer. There is also a design and development centre in Barcelona.