In the 1990s, methanol was seen as a possible new source of power for fuel cell electric vehicles. And yet, at the turn of the century, it nearly fell out of favor altogether, as the equipment needed to burn the fuel was much more complex than systems that used hydrogen only. Still, the past few years have seen renewed efforts to bring methanol fuel cells to market. Some weeks ago, Roland Gumpert, the engineer who spearheaded the development of Audi Quattro’s four-wheel drive, was back in the news, talking about his latest project, a sports car named after his daughter Nathalie (see H2-international, April 2019).
In what is known as a bought deal, an underwriter syndicate co-led by investment bank Raymond James has offered Ballard Power [Nasdaq: BLDP] fresh capital for shares. The offer was so popular, the initial USD 250 million target was quickly raised to USD 402.5 million: In late November 2020, the companies agreed on USD 350 million in stock, with an option on another USD 52.5 million, all selling at USD 19.25 per share. Ballard has since exhausted those resources, though more could be on the way soon.
At the annual meeting of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) at the end of 2019, a new management trio came together. Jörg Starr of Audi, who was recently elected Chairman of the Board, was joined by two Co-Chairs: Stefanie Beck from Toyota and André Steinau from GP Joule.
One should never be too enthusiastic, but if the Chinese government really takes up the battle against the country’s dramatic pollution levels, fuel cells and hydrogen will become top priorities – domestically and globally. People will take note of the comments that Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, made during this year’s industry conference H2Mobility in Berlin in early April. Gang – an engineer, who had a ten-year stint at Audi – considers the fuel cell‘s versatility and “green hydrogen” to be two key solutions for improving China’s environmental situation
As predicted several times before, #dieselgate is the driver of upcoming changes at German carmaker Volkswagen. In March 2016, it was said that the Wolfsburg-based corporation would concentrate all fuel cell activities at its Audi subsidiary. This will necessitate a move of most of the fuel cell research, which has so far been conducted in the German city of Salzgitter. Stefan Knirsch, board member and head of development at Audi, told the magazine Automobilwoche: “This January, the task of corporate research on fuel cell engines was given to Audi.” And VW’s board of directors had supported the concentration of activities.
The conference call of Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems about the latest figures from the last quarter of 2015 – and consequentially, for all of last year – revealed some very intriguing news, comments and plans for the future. I will refrain from discussing the figures (or losses posted) and interpreting them (how the individual business fields developed). Instead, I will focus on the excellent outlook
Connectivity and digitalization – these were the main topics of the International Automobile Exhibition (IAA), which took place in Frankfurt a. M., Germany, from September 17 to 27, 2015. Both the media uplink to the entire globe and digital premium offers appeared much more important than clean engine technologies. The announcements did include much on electric cars