Government funding secured for continued development of Intelligent Energy high power fuel cells for vehicles
Published on Wed 16 October, 2019
- Intelligent Energy has been awarded a grant by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) that supports the UK Government’s drive to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
- Intelligent Energy will partner with Changan UK Ltd and Alexander Dennis Ltd in integrating high power, low cost, fuel cell systems into SUVs and buses.
- This grant will enable Intelligent Energy to expand manufacturing and develop the UK fuel cell system supply chain.
Loughborough 16th October 2019 – Intelligent Energy, the UK fuel cell engineering company, will lead an APC programme that brings to market full fuel cell powertrains integrated into SUVs and buses.
APC has announced it will fund a programme that integrates Intelligent Energy’s latest generation high powered fuel cell system into SUVs for Changan, China’s 4th largest car manufacturer, and buses for ADL, the UK’s leading bus manufacturer.
Under the programme, fuel cell stacks and systems in the range of 30kW to 120kW will be developed based on Intelligent Energy’s high-power metal plate fuel cell technology and proven in bus and passenger car applications. In addition, a production capability will be established which will enable the fuel cell stacks and systems to be made available to other OEM’s.
In a market that is growing month on month, it is vital that OEMs have a choice of fuel cell systems and components that maximise the use of vehicle space, whilst delivering competitive advantage in cost and performance.
Intelligent Energy’s high power fuel cell systems support the market requirement for compelling solutions in both passenger and commercial vehicle applications where space is at a premium. Due to the compact design of Intelligent Energy’s system, customers will be able to achieve greater power compared to existing high-powered fuel cells without compromising on existing vehicle design. This optimised, compact design with reduced balance-of-plant will ultimately offer a highly competitive option for automakers looking to produce fuel cell powertrains at volume.
David Woolhouse, CEO of Intelligent Energy, commented: “This APC award comes at just the right time for Intelligent Energy. UK Government support provides a strong platform for our automotive ambitions. Fuel cell electric vehicle deployment is key if the automotive industry is to meet low carbon targets. The time is right for the industry to welcome new drivetrain solutions and we look forward to working with our partners, Changan and Alexander Dennis, as well as future partners who can benefit from this technology.
The UK is well placed to be a leading manufacturer of fuel cell powertrains, and Intelligent Energy is proud to invest in jobs directly and through our suppliers to support that growth”.
Intelligent Energy, part of the Meditor group of companies, is based on over 30 years of fuel cell development. In recent years it has focused on developing compact, low cost, standard products across all power ranges from 650W to 120kW. This APC award is the catalyst for a period of further investment and growth and opens opportunities with other automotive OEMs and customers in adjacent markets.
With a re-fuelling experience similar to internal combustion engine vehicles and a longer driving range compared to battery-powered vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles offer significant benefits for both passenger and commercial segments.
About Intelligent Energy
Intelligent Energy is focused on the development and manufacture of its Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for customers in the automotive, aerospace, generator, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors. Intelligent Energy is built on 30 years of PEM fuel cell development. Following acquisition by Meditor Energy, part of the Meditor Group, in October 2017 Meditor has accelerated investment to facilitate further development and commercialisation of the technology and expansion of the product offering. The company is headquartered and manufactures in Loughborough in the UK, with additional offices and representation in the US, Japan, China and South Korea.
About Fuel Cells
Fuel cell technology is similar to battery technology in that individual cells are built up to give the desired power output. However, fuel cells do not run out of charge as batteries do and will produce power for as long as hydrogen fuel is provided to the cell. Hydrogen is readily available around the world, often generated using green energy
Fuel cells are deployed in multiple applications where clean, lightweight, efficient and cost-effective power is required. Fast re-fuelling and lack of emissions makes fuel cell technology the immediate choice for forklift trucks and warehousing. Fuel cells are common place in clean construction and backup power for critical telecoms. Powering UAVs with fuel cells allows three times the flying time which gives significant advantages in applications such as aerial surveying and filming.
Zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology will be preferred to battery technology in vehicles where rapid re-fuelling, high power and long range are important. Typical fuel cell applications include SUVs, buses and trucks, along with smaller cars where a high availability is critical, e.g. taxis and shared vehicles. Over 13,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are on the road today. FCEVs are expected to be an integral part of the connected and autonomous vehicle (“CAV”) revolution over the coming years.
Fuel cells are expected to become a dominant technology in de-carbonised aerospace.
About Changan UK R&D Centre Ltd
Changan UK R&D Centre Ltd (CAUK) is a world class powertrain innovation centre and forms a vital part in Changan Automobiles Global Powertrain Strategy. Established in 2010, CAUK research and innovations are realised into Changan products under the Blue Core brand, most recently with the launch of the New Engine platform that supports China VI and future Euro 7 emissions regulations and powertrain hybridisation.
CAUK and Chongqing Changan New Energy Automobile Technology Co., Ltd (a subsidiary of Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Ltd) will research the key technologies of fuel cell vehicles together and develop a full power fuel cell prototype passenger car with the fuel cell system provided by IE company. The research and vehicle performance and reliability trials will lay a foundation for mass production of a full power fuel cell passenger car for Chinese and British market before 2025.
About Alexander Dennis
Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of double deck buses and is also the UK’s largest bus and coach manufacturer. We offer the widest range of low and zero emission buses on the market. ADL delivers single and double deck vehicles under the brands of Alexander Dennis and Plaxton and has over 31,000 vehicles in service in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States.