What is a retrofit?


Definition of retrofit

One approach, three options

Retrofitting refers to the process of converting a thermal vehicle to a cleaner technology to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The retrofit of the vehicle

The original engine block and its ancillary components (tanks, gearbox, catalytic converters) are removed and replaced by a more environmentally friendly drivetrain, in compliance with a specific regulatory framework. The technical and administrative provisions governing retrofitting were published in April 2020 in the Official Journal. It is therefore still a recent process with few credible solutions on the market.

There are two technological options:

Manufacturer of the first French hydrogen bus, GCK Mobility is positioned as a pioneer and innovator in the field.

Which vehicles are eligible?

The vehicle, registered in France for more than five years, must be structurally sound (bodywork without corrosion, wiring harnesses in good condition, …) and meet the safety requirements required for a release on the road (see also the pages on regulations and homologation). A retrofit can be completed by :

  • A refit, which is a restoration of worn or damaged components;
  • A restomod, an operation which consists in modernizing the vehicle in order to give it a visual aspect and a level of comfort in phase with the current standards of the new models. In the case of a coach, we can for example update the lighting and the driving position (dashboard, seats, mirrors).
The benefits of retrofitting

Converting a vehicle brings several concrete and immediate ecological and economic benefits:

  • Polluting mechanics, sometimes dated, are replaced by a zero emission solution;
  • The conversion makes it possible to retain parts that would have had to be manufactured for the assembly of a new vehicle (bodywork, interior components, running gear, etc.);
  • A retrofitted vehicle highlights the ecological commitment of a company or a city in its efforts to create a hydrogen ecosystem.
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