Working group led by Intelligent Energy to develop its proprietary 90kW EC fuel cell stack for mass manufacture
author Added by FuelCellsWorks, October 13, 2015
  • Move marks a commitment to bringing fuel cells to the mass automotive market
  • Working group members drawn from premium OEMs, a leading fuel cell manufacturer, material and stack component suppliers
  • VolumetriQ is a three-year programme supported by €5 million of funding from FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Grant Agreement Number 671465), a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe

Loughborough (UK)--Intelligent Energy, the energy technology company, will lead a pan-European industry working group to develop its proprietary 90kW EC fuel cell automotive technology in the funded project called VolumetriQ. VolumetriQ is a three-year programme that will deliver a blueprint for stack suitability for mass manufacture and potential future industrialisation. Funded by €5 million from the European programme FCH JU, the target is to develop fuel cell stacks that can be manufactured in high volumes for use in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020, building on Intelligent Energy's industry leading PEM fuel cell technology. In addition to the lead partner Intelligent Energy, the project will involve four industrial partners; Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, Solvay Speciality Polymers, ElringKlinger and Pretexo; as well as academic input from CNRS Montpellier. Furthermore, BMW Group and Daimler will participate in the project to set out the stack requirements.

The three year programme got off to a great start recently as representatives from the partner businesses gathered at Intelligent Energy's Loughborough headquarters to kick off the scope of work. The programme outputs must demonstrate cost reduction, advance manufacturing technology with optimised component detail designs.

Intelligent Energy's Director of R&T, Dr Chris Dudfield, said: "Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are a reality for the 'here and now'. To bring them to mass market, we need to ensure our fuel cell stacks are robustly industrialised, which is the aim of this programme."

Bert de Colvenaer, Executive Director at FCH JU, commented: "Under Horizon 2020, the second generation of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) aims to speed up the commercial deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen in Europe through the investment of €1.33bn (half public, half private funds) in a range of programmes from research to demonstration and pre-market introduction tests. The projects under FCH 2 JU will look to deliver a new generation of materials and prototypes as well as demonstrate, on a large scale, the readiness of the technology to enter the market in the fields of transport (cars, busses and refuelling infrastructure) and energy (hydrogen production and distribution, energy storage and stationary power generation)."

Dr Dudfield concluded: "The results of this programme will bring a significant opportunity to OEMs to deliver Intelligent Energy's proprietary 90kW automotive fuel cell architecture in the next generation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) which, we believe, offers the best solution to the automotive industry to scale up the production of FCEV's and deliver vehicles that meet the demands of the consumer as well as crucially delivering zero-emissions at the tail-pipe. We are very excited to be moving our technology forward with our partners."