In 18 years of managing the f-cell show, its organizers have seen many trends, and businesses, come and go. Some companies that used to exhibit at the event no longer exist. Some of the speakers at past events have worked for multiple employers in the meantime. And before last year’s decision to move back to Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft, the show itself took place on the city’s showgrounds.
Following a three-year break, the National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology held another NIP General Assembly between Dec. 5 and 6 last year. About 400 people came to Berlin to catch up on the latest developments regarding the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, also known as NIP 2, or provide others with information about the same.
On Oct. 16, 2018, the eMove360° show in Munich was no longer an event that attracted mainly fans of battery-powered vehicles. For the first time, it featured a conference on fuel cell cars, attended by around three dozen people. However, the main question during this eMove360° Fuel Cell Conference, which took place at the same time as the show, was not whether battery or fuel cell vehicles would make it on the market but if and how the technologies could be combined.
Plans are becoming more concrete in Germany’s northernmost region, where communities are rapidly taking the lead in the production of renewable hydrogen and the creation a future-proof transportation system co-designed by citizens. In March 2017, project company GP Joule, based in Reußenköge, Germany, published a feasibility study to show what this renewable system could look like
Industrial gases producer Linde has a new hydrogen production system in Leuna, providing more evidence of the company’s shift in strategic focus. On Oct. 24, 2018, Linde announced that it would add another hydrogen liquefier to its chemical manufacturing facilities in Saxony-Anhalt. The unit, scheduled to come online in 2021, would double production capacity to ten metric tons of hydrogen a day and would, like the old one, be linked to the regional pipeline system
Many German fuel cell fans are still angry at Sascha Kühn, mostly not because his company’s kraftwerk fuel cell charger has yet to be delivered but because Kühn has practically disappeared from the public eye. Months have passed since there was some kind of statement about if and how the original idea of manufacturing small high-temperature fuel cells with the help of crowdfunding could still be brought to market.
SFC Energy, which has so far focused on methanol-powered fuel cells, intends to branch out into the hydrogen fuel market. In November 2018, the company based in Brunnthal, Germany, announced that it had signed an agreement with adKor to develop and license the required fuel cell know-how. The deal reached with adKor’s chief executive, Hartmut Kordus, will grant SFC Energy non-exclusive access to the technology of three former fuel cell companies: FutureE, Heliocentris and P21.
December 31 last year was the date on which work at H-Tec Education officially ended. Still, the Fuel Cell Store (fuelcellstore.com) will continue the brand, as well as production, distribution and customer service. However, it was reported that, following the decision, 13 employees had been let go.
UK-based Enrichment Technology Company, or ETC for short, has decided to split its German E&MS subsidiary into two: On Sept. 27, 2018, it announced separate contact numbers for the new companies located in Jülich, where Nproxx Jülich has been put in charge of constructing hydrogen tanks, while Pronexos will manufacture carbon-fiber composites and rollers, among other things.
Automotive supplier ElringKlinger has divested its department that manufactured solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC, systems. In September 2018, the business based in Dettingen, Germany, announced that it would focus on low-temperature fuel cells used in vehicles. It sold SOFC operations, and its assets in new enerday, headquartered in Neubrandenburg, to Dresden-based Sunfire.