Daimler, Nissan, and Ford Sign Agreement to Jointly Develop Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle System
On January 28, Daimler AG, Nissan Motor Company, and Ford signed a three-way agreement to jointly develop a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) system. The companies plan to each launch their own separately branded FCEV by 2017, all of which will share a common fuel cell system developed through this partnership.
The collaboration is expected to reduce investment costs and speed up technological developments, as work takes place across three continents. The collaboration will also help define global specifications and component standards for fuel cell electric vehicles.
In their joint press release, Daimler, Ford and Nissan state that this partnership sends a clear signal to industry and policymakers that development of hydrogen infrastructure needs to be implemented for the successful launch of these vehicles.
Daimler AG's press release is available here.
BMW Group and Toyota Motor Company Expand Collaboration on Fuel Cell Technology
On January 24, BMW Group and Toyota Motor Company announced an expansion of their long-term strategic partnership with the signing of a binding agreement to collaborate on fuel cell and battery technologies. This agreement is building on an initial memorandum of understanding signed in June 2012.
The agreement calls for the joint development of a fuel cell system, architecture and components for a sports vehicle, lightweight materials technology, and research in post-lithium-battery technology. For the fuel cell effort, this means that BMW and Toyota have agreed to share their technology experience to develop a full system, including a stack, hydrogen tank, electric motor and battery, with the targeted completion of 2020.
Toyota's press release is available here.
FuelCell Energy Acquires Versa Power Systems
On December 20, FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Connecticut announced the acquisition of the remaining interest in Colorado-based SOFC manufacturer Versa Power Systems. Prior to this announcement, FuelCell Energy owned 39% of Versa Power.
FuelCell Energy's press release is available online here.
ClearEdge Power Acquires UTC Power
On December 22, ClearEdge Power of Hilssboro, Oregon announced an agreement to acquire UTC Power, United Technologies Corporation's Connecticut-based fuel cells division. The transaction closing is expected for early 2013.
ClearEdge Power's press release is available online here.
Lilliputian Unveils Nectar Mobile Fuel Cell Power System
On January 6, Lilliputian Systems, Inc. debuted its Nectar Mobile Power System, a portable solid oxide fuel cell system capable of charging any USB compatible device. The system uses recyclable power cartridges which utilize butane fuel. Lilliputian claims that the fuel cell charger can fully recharge a smart phone ten to fourteen times on a single fuel pack, called a Nectar Pod.
Nectar will be exclusively available through the retailer Brookstone beginning in Summer 2013 for $299, with Nectar Pods priced at $9.99 each.
Lilliputian's press release is available here.
Two UTC Power PureCell Fuel Cell Systems Will Help Power the Lotte World Tower in Seoul
On January 10, UTC Power announced that Samsung Everland, a Samsung Group affiliate, has purchased two PureCell Model 400 fuel cell systems to power the Lotte World Mall in Korea's Lotte World Tower. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the tower will be one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, and will house the world's tallest observation deck.
|Lotte World Tower (Artist Rendering), Source: Wikipedia|
UTC Power claims that this will be the first indoor installation of fuel cells in Korea, and that the system will provide the structure both heat and power. The mixed-use building will include retail outlets, offices, residences, a luxury hotel and public access floors, including the aforementioned observation deck.
UTC Power's press release is available here.
Senator Sherrod Brown Tours LG Fuel Cell Prototype Center at Stark State; Encourages Ohio to "Embrace" Fuel Cells
On Monday January 14, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited the LG Fuel Cell Prototype Center at Stark State College to evaluate firsthand the promise of fuel cell technology as a major Ohio industry. He praised the public-private partnership between Stark, Rolls Royce, and LG, which brought commercial fuel cell R&D to its current on-campus location.
The visit follows Senator Brown's introduction of the 21st Century Investment Act of 2012. The bill would boost incentives for R&D, particularly for manufacturing firms, permanently extending tax credits on R&D and increasing the credit on domestic manufacturing.
Senator Brown's press release is available here.
Cleveland RTA Adds UTC Power Fuel Cell Bus to Fleet, Hydrogen Fueling Station Provided by Air Products
On January 22, Air Products announced the installation of a hydrogen fueling station in East Cleveland, Ohio to support the operation of a fuel cell bus by Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The fuel cell bus is on loan to RTA for one year from UTC Power, and has been brought to Cleveland through a partnership with NASA Glenn Research Center.
Air Products' press release is available here.
Nuvera Introduces Orion Fuel Cell Stacks at ProMat 2013
On January 15, Nuvera Fuel Cells announced that it will be introducing their new Orion fuel cell stack at the ProMat 2013 show taking place in Chicago, Illinois on January 21-24. The Orion fuel cell stacks, ranging in size of 8 to 300kWs, is designed to be integrated by materials handling equipment OEMS into their product fleets.
Nuvera's full press release can be found here.
Hydrogenics Delivers 2MW "Power-to-Gas" Energy Storage System to E. ON in Germany
On December 21, Hydrogenics announced the successful delivery of a 2MW "power-to-gas" energy storage system to E.ON, one of the world's largest power and gas companies. Installed in Falkenhagen, Germany, the system is to be fully commissioned in early 2013 and will produce hydrogen gas from surplus renewable energy. This gas will then be pumped into a pre-existing natural gas pipeline for storage. Hydrogenics originally announced the contract with E.ON in June 2012.
More information is available in the Hydrogenics press release here.
Hyundai to Begin Production of ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle Later This Month
On January 10, Hyundai announced it was awarded the prestigious FuturAuto award at the 2013 Brussels Motor Show for its ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). The ix35 was reportedly selected as the winner for becoming the first commercially available FCEV.
In the press release announcing the award, Hyundai states that series production of the ix35 will begin at Hyundai's Ulsan plant in Korea by the end of the month. Hyundai also stated plans to manufacture 1,000 vehicles by 2015.
More information on Hyundai's ix35 series production can be found here.
Proton OnSite Announces $150,000 Hydrogen Energy Scholarship
Proton OnSite has launched a scholarship award for high school seniors, college students and adult innovators who submit proposals for new and creative ways to generate and/or use hydrogen power from renewable and sustainable energy sources. The firm will award up to $100,000 in college scholarships and up to $50,000 to entrepreneurs to develop their idea into a business venture.
The Proton OnSite scholarship can be found here
FuelCell Energy Announces Ten-Year Service Agreement for Fuel Cell Power Plant with Swiss Electric Utility
On January 22, FuelCell Energy Inc. announced that its European subsidiary, FuelCell Energy Solutions, GmbH (FCES), has entered into a multi-year service agreement for a fuel cell power plant owned by Swedish Electric Utility, Elektrizitaetswerke Zurich (ewz). Under the agreement, FCES will operate the molten carbonate fuel cell power plant in Switzerland and evaluate its performance over the course of the ten year agreement.
FuelCell Energy's press release can be found here.
Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses to Provide Transport at World Economic Forum in Davos
On January 23, Daimler announced that two Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses will be providing shuttle service at this year's World Economic forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
The buses are being provided by bus company, PostAuto Schweiz AG, who has been demonstrating five Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses on regular service routes in and around Brugg, Switzerland since the end of 2011.
Daimler's press release is available here.
Hydrogen Buses to Debut at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
On December 27, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced that two hybrid battery/hydrogen-fueled buses will begin operation at the park this spring. The buses will be used to relieve congestion along the park's narrow roads.
The project received $989,000 in funding from the Federal Transit Authority, with remaining funds for the two-year trial run to be provided by project partners Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Hawaii Center for Advancement of Transportation Technologies, the Department of Defense, and others.
The Hawaii National Park Service press release can be found here.
The Hawaii Tribune Herald article can be found here.
Nilfisk-Advance Introduces First Industrial Fuel Cell Scrubber - Plug Power Supplying Fuel Cell Units
On January 22, Nilfisk-Advance Group has introduced a fuel cell-powered industrial combination sweeper-scrubber to join its line of hybrid and battery powered scrubbers. The scrubber will be powered by Plug Power GenDrive fuel cell systems, the same systems used by Plug Power in their fuel cell forklift fleets.
The press release from Nilfisk-Advance can be found here.
European Commission Launches Clean Fuel Strategy - Includes Hydrogen Fueling
On January 24, the European Commission announced a comprehensive clean energy strategy to build alternative fueling stations across Europe, and includes measures for hydrogen energy. The Commission is proposing a package of binding targets on Member States for a minimum level of infrastructure for clean fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, and biofuels.
Under this new strategy the 14 European Union member states that currently have a hydrogen network would link existing stations to form a network. Each station would also use common standards for various components, such as fuel hoses, to ensure consistent fueling
The European Commission press release is available here.
New Jersey Launches CHP/Fuel Cell Grant Program
On January 16, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) have launched a second round of the Large Scale Combined Heat and Power/Fuel Cell Program. The grant program is expected to leverage more than $67 million investment in New Jersey's economy and reduce CO2 emissions by 85,695 tons annually. The program supports CHP and standalone fuel cell projects with a generating capacity of greater than one megawatt with up to $3 million available per project.
More information about the project and funding specifications can be found here.
Anglo Platinum Sees Job Creation in Fuel Cell Projects
On January 15, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced that although the company is scaling back mining operations, it sees fuel cells as a high-growth sector.
In an interview with Mining Weekly Online, Amplats Executive Marketing Head Andrew Hinkly expressed that the company will continue to invest in the fuel cell arena. Hinkly stated that fuel cells could create as much as 100 jobs for Amplats in the near term and potentially several thousand over the next five years.
Amplats and fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power made a number of announcements in 2012 on the joint development of home fuel cell generators for African markets and fuel cell locomotives for mining operations.
More information on this article can be found on Platinum Today here.
KPMG International Releases 14
th Annual Automotive Executive Global Survey - FCEV Outlook Remains Optimistic
On January 5, KPMG International released its 2013 Global Automotive Executive Survey of 200 automaker executives, which presents a favorable outlook for fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology.
For the 2013 report, the percentage of surveyed executives who believe fuel cell mobility to be an important trend through 2025 rose to 72%, up from 49% in 2012. In addition, 65% of OEM respondents stated an intent to either begin or increase investments in fuel cell technologies during the coming year.
Executives in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had the most positive outlook of FCEVs with 76% of respondents deeming fuel cell technology to be "extremely important" or "very important". This compares to 69% of executives in TRIAD countries (Japan, Western Europe, and North America).
The full report is available online here.