Umicore and Solvay, the former mother companies of SolviCore, sold their joint venture in July 2015 to Toray Industries, a chemical company based in Japan. On Jan. 1, 2016, business management was handed over to Greenerity, a 100% subsidiary of Toray. SolviCore was founded in 2006 as a specialist for membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA). The headquarters in Hanau-Wolfgang is said to be kept, as is the entire staff.
The fuel-cell companies quoted on the stock exchange have used 2015 perfectly to strengthen their market positions. These efforts have resulted in more orders, improved balance sheets, increased capital and some very important strategic collaborations as well trendsetting product developments. This lets us conclude for 2016 that probably most of these companies – if not all – will be able to become cash-flow positive or even generate sustainable profits after many years of preparing for this moment.
Ballard Power is placing a bigger focus on China, evidenced by the various agreements with Chinese companies from the field of bus manufacturing and the development of hydrogen-driven rail vehicles. According to company information, the Canadian fuel-cell manufacturer paid special attention to only collaborate with known, reputable partners, whether big or small, which enjoy their own location advantages.
At the end of June 2015, Audi signaled that it also wanted to develop its Q6 as a fuel-cell version. The VW subsidiary had already announced the new crossover car with an internal combustion engine at the beginning of last year, after it presented the A7 Sportback h-tron Quattro (see figure) in Los Angeles at the end of 2014 as another hydrogen prototype (see HZwei issue from January 2015). During 2015, the announcement by the carmaker
Regarding fuel cells, a challenging and important issue are still the catalysts. To a considerable degree, they determine both the performance of stacks and their price. Currently, the most different nanoparticles are being examined in the most different structural combinations. This is also true for the field of water splitting, where catalysts are employed in electrolysis systems. The jury is still out on which materials could ultimately replace platinum in both cases, so work on the required catalyst quantity continues.
H2-international has long since refrained from spreading any rumors or participating in any speculation about fuel cells for mobile devices, even if it was about an iPhone which allegedly could be powered by Intelligent Energy modules. It is precisely for this reason that we will do no more than quote roby111, who posted a pretty accurate assessment of the situation on the web at Elektronikpraxis: “Yes, since 1998 this topic has been making the rounds
What impact does the ongoing electrification of the automotive industry have? Which technology fields will be affected by the structural changes? What needs to be done not to lag behind? Questions like these are a concern especially to regions highly dependent on the car industry. In a search for answers, the State Agency for Electric Mobility and Fuel Cell Technology, e-mobil BW
The HyPulsion joint venture has now been owned in full by Plug Power since August 2015. As announced by the American (USA) company on July 27th 2015, it has acquired all of the shares in its former partner Axane, a subsidiary of the gases company Air Liquide. The New York-based manufacturer of fuel cells paid US-$ 11.5 m. for 80 % of the shares. In 2012, Plug Power and Axane joined forces to form HyPulsion, primarily with the goal of kick-starting the market for fuel cell forklift trucks. Andy Marsh, managing director of Plug Power, made the following comments: “We are now moving ahead with optimism to extend our presence in the European materials handling market. […] I am pleased that our collaboration with Air Liquide for the further development of the hydrogen sector in Europe is continuing.”
Until recently, fuel cells have been of little importance in rail transport. This spring, however, the company CSR Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd., which is based in eastern China, presented a tram which is driven with hydrogen. The new H2 tram, which features a fuel cell system from Ballard, left the production line in the port city of Qingdao
There is a major information deficit with the topic of hydrogen and fuel cell technology – both in expert circles and in the public realm. There are almost no affordable English magazines that cover the research results from other regions of the world. The few press releases which are published on the internet often suffer from a lack of detailed facts. For this reason the Hdrogeit Verlag is now offering a new information service which reports on the latest developments in the hydrogen and fuel cells sector: H2-international.