- Agreement signed by EKPO and DR Powertrain to establish fuel cell cooperation with focus on Chinese market
- As part of it, EKPO supplies DR Powertrain with fuel cell stacks for systems integration into automotive and non-automotive applications produced by local manufacturers
- EKPO’s Chinese site in Suzhou located in close proximity to Shanghai as hub for further activities in Asia within future-oriented field of fuel cell technology
Dettingen/Erms (Germany) — EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO), the joint venture between ElringKlinger (60%) and Plastic Omnium (40%), and Chinese systems integrator DR Powertrain System Co. Ltd. have signed a partnership agreement to develop fuel cell systems equipped with EKPO stacks for automotive and non-automotive applications with a focus on Chinese market.
In this context, the partnership with DR Powertrain is to be extended in the long term and targets numerous Chinese market applications. The Suzhou site, which is located in close proximity to Shanghai, provides a suitable basis for intensifying EKPO’s activities in the field of engineering, testing and the production of small-scale volumes for the Asian region.
DR Powertrain is a Sino-German joint venture headquartered in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China. The company focuses on fuel cell vehicles, engineering and special vehicle powertrain systems, as well as hydrogen energy storage systems. Now the status of serial production of 5 – 120kW fuel cell systems and core balance-of-plant (BOP) components has been achieved, and the products have already passed the inspection certification by Chinese authoritative testing organization. DR Powertrain has completed the development and matching of several fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) types with Chinese national and international first-class automobile enterprises. Meanwhile, the technical indicators of the products are in the Chinese leading level. The agreement has now been reached to provide the fuel cell systems in FCEVs at this level with technologically excellent stacks.
The EKPO stack family around the NM5 and NM12 types meets the customer’s exacting standards in respect of durable, compact fuel cell stack design alongside high power density of up to 6.2 kW/l in the cell block. In addition to the comparatively low weight, the 335 cells achieve a high power spectrum of up to 205 kW in pressure mode. Furthermore, the stack design offers the best possible basis when it comes to scaling and modularization, thus allowing the end customer to design its usage application with maximum flexibility and efficiency.
In commenting on the latest deal, Julien Etienne, EKPO’s Managing Director for Sales, said: “With DR Powertrain, we are pleased to have joined forces with a partner with high technology demands and broad market access. Together, we are now working towards further contracts for cars and other applications. China is an important future market for us to contribute to modern mobility with our stack technologies. The location in Suzhou is an excellent starting point for our activities in Asia, particularly in China.”
Dr. Haiyu Gao, Deputy General Manager of DR Powertrain and responsible for sales, appreciated the cooperation between the two companies: “DR Powertrain and EKPO have cooperated smoothly during the development and supply of high-level passenger vehicle projects for various domestic first-class automobile enterprises, the excellent technology and product standards have been highly recognized by users. Through the cooperation with EKPO, DR Powertrain will apply new generation of system integration solutions and leverage the performance advantages of our own BOP component products. The cooperation with EKPO will enable both companies to gather stronger R&D and production capabilities, bring higher integration and cost-effective products to users, and provide timely service support.”
Through its parent company ElringKlinger, EKPO has been actively pursuing fuel cell research and development for around 20 years. The compact stacks are based on proton-exchange membrane (PEM) technology and convert chemical into electrical energy using hydrogen and oxygen. EKPO offers stacks in various configurations for integration into customer systems. Stacks with peripheral components and system functionalities integrated into the media module are also available as an option. These features enable considerable simplification and cost reduction with regard to the fuel cell system. Drawing on the system solutions of its parent company Plastic Omnium, EKPO can cover the entire value chain of a hydrogen-based fuel cell drive. EKPO has an initial production capacity of up to 10,000 stacks per year, which will be gradually expanded in line with its order intake.
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