AUSTRALIA’S AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING SECTOR GETS NEW LEASE OF LIFE
New Australian New Energy Vehicle Company H2X launched today to bring a massive impact in new high technology jobs to the country and providing a new chapter to Australia’s leadership in the Renewable Economy.
Independent Australian Vehicle company based in New South Wales.
Advanced internally developed Hybrid Powertrains leveraging Kinetic Energy through Battery and Ultra Capacitor technology with a strong focus on Hydrogen, making the most of numerous Green Hydrogen Projects launching in Australia to provide long-distance travel and fast refueling.
Exceptional focus on lightweight and renewable materials in body, chassis, and interior to increase efficiency and also to promote lower resource utilization and lower production emissions.
Given the recent impact on the Australian Economy due to COVID-19, H2X begins an aggressive hiring campaign now with a 5-year growth plan looking towards 5,000 new Australian Jobs directly as production increases and jobs in supporting industries 4 to 5 times that number in an Australian oriented supply chain.
Sydney, Australia, June 12, 2020: H2X is today launched as an Australian owned company which will develop and manufacture a range of vehicles.
H2X is focused on supporting the growth of renewable energy usage in Australia by initially offering products concentrating on vehicle fleets around renewable energy hubs.
The company offers a balance between hydrogen energy and kinetic and externally charged electricity using an advanced hybrid system which can determine the most efficient approach for any given journey.
With a focus on efficiency of the design of the body and chassis and renewable materials inside and out, the goal of H2X is not only to bring to market clean power technologies but also to make vehicles the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable right from the outset.
“Today we launch our company which not only demonstrates the advanced technology and engineering capabilities of Australia in the clean energy arena but also provides a real clean alternative in terms of transportation,” said Brendan Norman, Chief Executive Officer of H2X.
“With the development of many Green Energy projects in Australia at the moment, we have a unique opportunity to bring a significant manufacturing operation back to the country.”
Norman said the company was focussed on reaching market-leading volumes by 2025. The portfolio will include locally designed and built heavy and industrial vehicles as well as a range of passenger cars.
The core team at H2X has been working for a number of years on hydrogen and alternative vehicles. Some have gained extensive experience working in Asia on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and brought their skills and knowledge to H2X. Others had been involved in Powertrain development for a number of major fuel cell power projects for a number of successful vehicles currently in the Asian market. The learnings from the advanced development in these projects will be applied to H2X vehicles but the focus is ultimately on vehicles that are tuned for the challenging environment of Australia.
Chris Reitz, H2X’s Chief Design Officer, says Australia is now becoming a platform for the development of these vehicles to the world.
“H2X is an Australian Company which aims to demonstrate a unique Australian Spirit to the Vehicle Industry. We have a unique character in our vehicles and we are using Australia’s strong resource, educational and innovation strengths to come up with products which are developed to excel in extreme conditions, and like many things Australian they will win themselves into the hearts and minds of many around the world.” Reitz said.
The H2X team is already involved in projects for rail, marine, stationary power, and heavy vehicles which will come to market shortly. This will give significant support to the hydrogen production industry. H2X will partner with Australian and some overseas companies to bring into Australia full production of the core of the vehicles in early stages.
H2X will locate in Regional New South Wales, focused initially in the Illawarra district. From Port Kembla comes not only a significant deep-water transportation hub for the export of vehicles but also a key location as part of a growing network of green hydrogen projects throughout the New South Wales Renewable Energy Zone and beyond for the East Coast of the Country.
“We have projects producing Energy and Hydrogen in Port Bundaberg, Port Kembla, and in Dubbo in the NSW Renewable Energy Zone. Together with H2X and others including ANT Renewables in Victoria, we are establishing clean energy and clean transportation to put Australia on the map as world leaders in terms of a cleaner future,” said Ken Mathews, Managing Director of Denzo PL, Board Advisor and significant investment Partner in H2X.
“What is important for us is we have the ability to supply green hydrogen and the ability to use that hydrogen in Australian Made vehicles, providing a strong platform for the country to build a highly intelligent manufacturing network and do that in a Green environment for Generations of Australians to come.”
The ambition of the company is to create a community of manufacturing in Australia which is dynamic, engaged in leadership in the clean energy power field, and one which has every potential to lead the world. H2X will immediately lend its team skills to work with other Australian companies in the field on many different levels and from the start will launch into exciting activities of development.
The Chairman of H2X is Samuel Blackadder. He is also Managing Director of Elvin Group Renewables, he believes the expertise around the table at H2X will re-invigorate the Australian vehicle manufacturing sector.
“Elvin Group already has a leading position as one of Australia’s most advanced and environmentally progressive concrete production companies in the world. Our footprint into renewable energy generation from investment advanced technologies around Concrete, and in our substantial solar energy operations is boosted by the opportunity to have an Australian vehicle company with the same drive to create a better future,” Mr. Blackadder said.
“Elvin Group has a diverse range of targets from creating the world’s first emissions-free concrete distribution and setting business to launching our own Australian made electrolyzer which will make cost-effective hydrogen later in the year. With H2X we are able to cooperate on the production of this revolutionary product and also work on a number of hydrogen and clean energy powered applications for our Concrete activities creating a world benchmark in an industry that is often considered one of the world’s greatest opportunities for emissions reduction”.
H2X is a recently established Australian Company developed to produce Hydrogen-Powered Hybrid vehicles, maximizing the benefits of Battery Electric, Kinetic Energy Capture, and Hydrogen to provide a Clean transportation solution with maximum efficiency.
The company is formed by an exceptionally well-experienced team from the automotive and new energy field, which has been working together over more than 5 years. The core of the team has co-founded and participated in a commercial and passenger vehicle company and has reformed with Australia as a home, taking advantage of the rise of hydrogen as a major new energy source in Australia.
From this base in Australia, H2X Launch will launch several new vehicle lines.
H2X begins with Imported Chassis from 3rd party manufactures to ensure safety and quality, while our powertrain platform developed previously is already operating in vehicles in service in Asia today, giving us an extremely strong product basis as well as one of the most experienced Automotive leadership teams yet assembled in any new energy vehicle line up. From the start, locally manufactured bodies and interior parts will be fitted, with priority on supply localization the mission of the company.
H2X a 5-year plan for a minimum of 80% local content, working with the Universities, TAFE and local unions, industry groups, and companies. With strong support from Principal investors Elvin Group and Denzo PL and positive reactions from a number of industrial partners with a strong interest in vehicle purchases, the company is confident of being in a world-leading position in the hydrogen energy field by 2024 when a full product line-up is realized.
Key members of the team
CEO | Brendan Norman
BMW, Volkswagen Group, Infiniti Europe, CFO Shanghai Volkswagen, Riversimple and Grove Hydrogen Automotive Companies as a Co-Founder and Board Member
CDO (design) and Head of Europe | Chris Reitz
VW/Audi, Nissan, Fiat, Head of Design and Leadership team for Fiat Group, Member of the Porsche family, co-Founder of Grove Hydrogen Automotive
CMO and head of Americas | Alan M Marder
Head of Technology Solutions for Toyota's Raymond Corporation, Head of Technology Solutions for Hyster Yale, EVP and Sales for Nuvera Fuel Cell
CPO (powertrain) | Peter Zienau
Opel, Saab, Grove Hydrogen Automotive, Head of Global EV Programs for General Motors (Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, Saab ZE) and Leadership of Saab and Swedish Based Technology and Aerospace Venture
CTO | Ian Thompson
Lotus, Aston Martin, Karma Electric, Grove Hydrogen Automotive, Volvo Truck North America head of design/engineering and Project Leader for Lotus including leading Global EV company project
Chairman of Board | Samuel Blackadder
Managing Director Elvin Group Renewables.
Board & Advisory | Ken Mathews
Managing Director of Mathews family trust, Board Advisor and investment Partner
Board & Advisory | Kevin McCann
Deloitte Automotive Advisory Lead Australia, Volvo Australia, Hyundai Australia, Head of
Volkswagen Group Asia, Start-up Leader, and MD Audi China
HYDROGEN VEHICLES TO BE MANUFACTURED IN PORT KEMBLA – EXCLUSIVE
A new company made up of experienced global car industry executives has been formed to produce hydrogen vehicles at facilities at Port Kembla in New South Wales.
The new company, H2X Australia, to be revealed to the general media later today, has developed several prototypes powered by hydrogen fuel cells and electric motors including the Snowy SUV (pictured).
The Snowy, a medium-sized SUV with a 60 kW fuel cell and an overall power output of 190 kw, has been developed to the manufacturing level and could be seen on our roads in 2022/23, depending on the availability of hydrogen filling stations.
Speaking exclusively to @AuManufacturing, H2X CEO Brendan Norman said: “Seeing car manufacturing move away from the country was somewhat heartbreaking.
“But given Australia’s leadership in hydrogen, we have the opportunity to bring it back. For me, it is a dream come true.”
However, the first models to be built will be two heavy vehicles which will be built on a second, larger platform that can accommodate two fuel cell units to bring power output up to 300 to 550 kW.
Heavy vehicles run on the set city and interstate routes for major transport companies and are hence less reliant on publicly available sources of hydrogen.
Norman, a former BMW, and VW executive said: “We have two distinct platforms in final stages of development and will be releasing details shortly.“We will be showing running prototypes of the first model in November, beta versions will be available for trailing by customers in April and we want to be produced in volume in July next year.”
H2X is planning for the production of an initial 3,700 vehicles in the first year rising to 25,000 a year by 2025.
Norman and his co-founder Chris Reitz have recruited a strong team of launch executives with high-level experience in global car companies ranging from BMW and Fiat to Nissan and Toyota.
Norman and Reitz developed hydrogen cars for Wuhan-based Grove Automotive which displayed three prototype vehicles at the 2019 Shanghai motor show.
The company currently employs 70, with plans to employ another 100 before the end of 2020.
(See: The history and people behind H2X Australia.)
Norman would not reveal the two types of heavy vehicles in development, however interstate trucking and passenger buses are often mentioned as the most suitable for early adoption of hydrogen technology.
He said the company has orders from initial launch customers in Australia who operated their own vehicle fleets and was talking to a number of potential customers in Asia and Europe.
H2X has raised enough capital to begin production but is still talking to potential investors and state governments in Perth and Sydney.
Cornerstone investors are the Elvin Group, a pre-mix concrete company based on the New South Wales Central Coast and Ken Matthews Denzo Pty Ltd, a diverse renewable energy company.
Norman said: “We are secure in our first phase of business as a sustainable long term business but looking for funding for expansion.”
The two vehicles will be manufactured with a mixture of local and imported components for an initial 30 to 50 percent local content level.
H2X plans to aggressively increase the local content of the hydrogen fuel drive train including fuel cells, electric motors, and batteries.
“Within 18 to 24 months these will all be localized.
“We have a target by 2024 of being above 75 percent local content.”
While heavy vehicles make sense as launch products it is the smaller vehicle platform that will form the basis of the Snowy SUV that will generate the most interest.
Such a vehicle would join Japanese and Korean hydrogen fuel-cell cars like the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo on the local market.
Norman did let slip that his team was also designing a ‘Tractor’ variant based on the smaller platform (pictured).
THE HISTORY AND PEOPLE BEHIND H2X AUSTRALIA – EXCLUSIVE
H2X Australia which plans to begin manufacturing hydrogen vehicles in Australia is led by Brendan Norman, an experienced industry executive who has worked for BMW and VW in Australia and Asia.
When working in China he and partner, designer Chris Reitz, formed Grove automobiles in partnership with China’s Institute of Geoscience and Environment. Reitz was formally head of design at Fiat and Nissan Europe and also worked for VW.
Wuhan-based Grove displayed three prototype vehicles (pictured) at the 2019 Shanghai motor show, the hydrogen-powered SUV Obsidian Sport, classic SUV Obsidian, and high-end sports coupe Granite.
After parting ways with Grove, Norman and Reitz returned to Australia to do their own thing. Norman told @AuManufacturing: “It has been a dream of mine for many years to bring something back to Australia. “It has always been something I wanted to do.”
They have recruited a high powered founding executive team and local foundation investors. Head of corporate strategy is Alan Marder, a former director of technology solutions at Hyster and Toyota. The powertrain team is made up of Peter Zienau, formerly global project lead for the Chevrolet Bolt electric car, and Chief Technology Officer is Ian Thompson, formerly development lead for the Tesla Roadster.
Rounding out the team, are Kevin McCann, formerly head of VW Group Asia, sales director of Hyundai Australia, MD of Volvo Australia, and a director of Deloitte Automotive. With the executive team as founding shareholders, two Australian businesses have since invested in the company. Cornerstone investors are the Elvin Group, concrete and construction company working in Canberra and the surrounding regions and Ken Mathews Managing Director of Mathews Family Trust, a diverse renewable energy company.