Plastic Omnium and ElringKlinger are creating EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, a joint venture dedicated to fuel cell stack development, production and commercialisation.

EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies will offer its product portfolio to a range of customers including hydrogen systems integrators.

EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies will be owned 60% by ElringKlinger and 40% by Plastic Omnium.

ElringKlinger will bring all of its assets related to fuel cells stacks, developed for more than 20 years. Assets include more than 150 employees, more than 150 patents, R&D, its fuel cell components business and several high power density fuel cell stack platforms already marketed and manufactured at a facility located in Dettingen/Erms (Baden-Württemberg), where the joint venture will also be headquartered.

The annual production capacity of initially up to 10,000 units in the joint venture will be progressively extended according to the order book.

Plastic Omnium will invest EUR100m (US$117m) in the new company to support the acceleration of innovation, develop the commercial pipeline and increase production capacities. The company will also contribute to the development of the JV through its global customer portfolio, worldwide presence and technological expertise in hydrogen storage and systems.

"Plastic Omnium and ElringKlinger have been strongly investing over the years to develop their respective expertise in hydrogen technology," jointly noted the companies' CEOs, Laurent Favre and Stefan Wolf.

"Both stock-listed with a family as anchor shareholder and sharing the same values, we are jointly building a leader in the development, design, production and marketing of fuel cell stacks and components for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, buses, trucks and other mobility applications.

"We aim to unlock the mass-market potential for hydrogen and contribute to CO2-neutral mobility."

The 2030 market, backed by increasing government support, is currently estimated at annual production of between at least 2m and 3m on-road vehicles. In particular, France and Germany recently announced investments of EUR7bn and EUR9bn respectively in hydrogen development.

By 2030, EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies aims to reach a market share of 10% to 15% in the fuel cell technology business, representing revenues between EUR700m and EUR1bn. The target includes a global industrial footprint and is based on today's ability of a serial production of fuel stacks according to automotive standards.

The two partners also inked an agreement on the acquisition by Plastic Omnium of ElringKlinger Fuelcell Systems Austria (EKAT), an Austrian subsidiary of ElringKlinger specialised in integrated hydrogen systems, for an enterprise value of EUR15m. The two agreements are being submitted to the competition authorities and are subject to the usual legal requirements. They should be closed in Q1, 2021.

"We are very pleased about this strategic alliance with ElringKlinger," added Favre. "It complements our positioning in the entire hydrogen value chain, bringing fuel cell stacks and components to large-scale production with EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and reinforces our expertise in hydrogen systems with EKAT.

"This is for us another major step toward hydrogen mobility, where we aim to be a world leader."

For his part, Wolf added: "ElringKlinger has gained strong expertise in fuel cell technology over the past 20 years. Our stacks offer a high power density and have proven their capabilities even under adverse conditions. Now we are ready to leap forward into the age of hydrogen.

"Together with our partner Plastic Omnium, we will leverage our engineering and industrialisation know-how to provide a portfolio of cost-competitive fuel cell solutions."

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https://www.plasticomnium.com/en/article/12-news/news-innovation/327-plastic-omnium-and-elringklinger-partner-in-fuel-cell-technology-to-accelerate-the-development-of-hydrogen-mobility.html

Original source: https://www.plasticomnium.com/en/article/12-news/news-innovation/327-plastic-omnium-and-elringklinger-partner-in-fuel-cell-technology-to-accelerate-the-development-of-hydrogen-mobility.html