The European Commission publishes metadata about all funding approved as part of the 7th Framework Program (FP7) and Horizon 2020, with the latter still in effect to date. Analytical tools can be used to process and sift through this data to gain valuable information, for example, about the competitive environment. This article will show which organizations have entered into collaboration as part of European support programs and what their collaborative networks look like.
Although Daimler, Ford and Nissan have been working together since 2013 to develop a fuel cell system, Symbio FCell has had its own collaboration project with Nissan to design an H2 range extender. At the FC Expo in Tokyo this March (see Japan Leads the Way), Symbio – by its own account, the “European leader of hydrogen mobility solutions”
If one takes into account order bookings, collaborations, product developments and prospective markets, buying shares of fuel cell companies looks ever more promising. But the capitalization of the market leaders in fuel cells described in this article amount to a mere USD 750 million – a stark contrast to Tesla, the electric car pioneer, which has a market cap of USD 34 billion. These companies may very well get closer over the coming years, if Tesla gradually loses in value while fuel cell shares increase considerably in price.
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.”