Franco-Moroccan behind NamX, a green hydrogen car

The French company NamX presented this week in the Italian municipality of Cambiano a prototype car powered by hydrogen. The NamX, co-developed with Pininfarina, is a hydrogen powered SUV with removable pods. The prototype was unveiled Wednesday at a press conference at the headquarters of Italian design house Pininfarina, the historic designer behind several brands such as Ferrari and Peugeot.

Once produced, this SUV will be “the world’s first vehicle to feature a patented removable fuel tank system that promises to revolutionize the clean mobility experience and make hydrogen fuel widely available,” NamX said in a statement. He recalls that the car “is part of a large-scale industrial and technological project, the goal of which is to combine human mobility and environmental conservation through green hydrogen.”

“The son of a Moroccan worker who creates his own car brand”

Behind this brand with green ambitions is a Franco-Moroccan and the whole story of a worker’s son who worked at the Renault plant in Flins for over 35 years. “So this is the story of the son of a Moroccan worker who created a new car brand,” Faouzi Annaja, the French-Moroccan entrepreneur who founded NamX, told us Friday. “Because Franco-Moroccans were born to Moroccan parents, it is a matter of pride for us and a desire for the continent, which allows us to bring our stone into the building,” he adds.

Entrepreneur for 7 years and with various start-ups in Paris, the French-Moroccan has already worked for the German car manufacturer Volkswagen and has undergone “car training”. “It was my passion from a young age, but I also made it my job,” explains Faouzi Annaja.

“NamX is a product that was born five years ago and consists of the creation of a new fully sustainable premium car brand. We made our world premiere at Pininfarina, our design partner. The presentation of this prototype also allowed us to present our vision,” he told us. The French company claims it has “the world’s largest industrial and technical project partners for delivery at the end of 2025”. “We strive to create manufacturing enterprises. This project is located between Europe and Africa and, in particular, between Europe and Morocco,” explains Faouzi Annaja.

“It’s incredible. Five years ago, it all started with a simple dream of creating a premium car brand between Europe and Africa. Creating a new industry in Morocco was also a dream. I believe that today it is necessary to develop a quality technology industry, massively offering jobs for future generations “.

Fawzi Annaja

Fuel cell SUV using green hydrogen

The Franco-Moroccan businessman explains that it is “a car with an electric motor.” “But instead of batteries, it has a fuel cell that produces its own electricity,” he adds. For him, the most important point remains autonomy, given that NamX uses the “advantage of hydrogen over electricity, offering an autonomy of” 800 kilometers with a recharge time of only 3 minutes.

“Today, other brands are moving to electric and hybrid models, but hydrogen is the next generation of clean energy,” he says, pointing to competitors. “When we build cars with batteries, we don’t know if it’s clean energy or not. Our goal is to use green hydrogen, which is produced using solar or wind energy. So it’s clean energy all along the chain,” says the young entrepreneur, 29, who grew up in Eragny (Val-d’Oise). He also emphasizes that it is the work of “a complementary team that knew how to create this project.”

“I am surrounded by the best partners such as Pierre-Yves Guils, former managing director of AVL France, who is responsible for all the technical part, and Alain Didouin, former director of research and development at Renault, who is responsible for the hydrogen technology part. There is also the French-Moroccan Mustafa Mokass, who is engaged in the energy part.

Fawzi Annaja

NamX is aware of the geopolitical context, the “unanimously recognized” strategic importance of hydrogen, and a complete renewal of the vehicle fleet with nearly 1.5 billion passenger cars due to be replaced by 2045 in Europe. The premium family SUV, priced between €65,000 and €95,000 depending on options chosen, from Q4 2025, it will be sold in two versions: entry-level rear-wheel drive with 300 hp and 300 hp. for adjustable top speed. speed of 200 km / h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.5 seconds, as well as an all-wheel drive version of the GTH with 550 hp. for an adjustable top speed of 250 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds.

“We even aim to produce this car in Morocco. But it is being studied,” says Faouzi Annaca, who promises “upcoming announcements related to Morocco” and details of the technical aspects of the novelty of this car at the next Paris Motor Show (from 17 to 23 October 2022).