Proton Power Systems plc (AIM: PPS), the designer, developer and producer of fuel cells and fuel cell electric hybrid systems, is pleased to announce that it has signed a joint venture agreement to establish Clean Logistics GmbH (“Clean Logistics”), a company registered in Hamburg, Germany, which has the objective of building heavy duty trucks purely run on fuel cell hybrid systems, using hydrogen fuel cells in the range of 75 – 150KW (the “Joint Venture”).
Proton owns 33.33% of the share capital of Clean Logistics, together with its joint venture partners Höpen GmbH (33.33%), a private holding with participations into the battery company INVENOX GmbH and electric vehicle development company E-Cap Mobility GmbH (a company which specialises in the conversion of combustion vehicles into electric vehicles), and Hary AG (33.33%), a modular transport service provider.
The Joint Venture will focus on the development, design, construction and sale of heavy duty trucks driven by emission free fuel cell hybrid systems. For that purpose, the Joint Venture applied for financial aid from the federal programmes of alternative fuels and clean transportation to take the Joint Venture through its prototype development stage during 2019 and is seeking additional funding to be used to support orders of up to 1,000 vehicles by the end of 2021.
Proton is providing its new Generation 4 fuel cell for inclusion in the trucks but does not have any material financial commitments to the Joint Venture.
Helmut Gierse, chairman of Proton, commented: “We are pleased with this venture. In 2016 alone, in excess of 300,000 trucks in the 'over 5 tonnes' weight category were produced in the European Union, which were nearly all powered by diesel fuel. If even a small proportion of this market was converted to electric / fuel cell over the coming years, Clean Logistics will be able to benefit from it, and Proton's current production facility could be fully utilised.”