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Ballard Power Launches Fuel Cell And Battery Partnership In Heavy-Duty Sector

Vancouver, Canada and Paris, France - Growing momentum in the international fuel cell and hydrogen markets is also increasing the importance of collaborations among players. The latest example is the launch of a closer collaboration between Ballard Power and Forsee Power.

Fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems and battery system provider Forsee Power have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a strategic partnership. Together, the two companies plan to develop fully integrated fuel cell and battery solutions optimized for performance, cost and installation for heavy hydrogen mobility applications.

Strategic partnership marks start of long-term collaboration

Ballard and Forsee Power have been supplying fuel cell modules and battery systems to the same industries and some of the same customers since 2016. Therefore, from the perspective of both companies, optimizing the fuel cell-battery powertrain, resulting in improved reliability, durability, efficiency and lower costs, is a logical next step to create value.

With this in mind, the two companies have decided to cooperate more closely. The aim is to develop a fully integrated solution combining a fuel cell and battery system optimized for the requirements of the target markets for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles such as buses, trucks, rail, marine and off-road applications.

From the perspective of both companies, the strategic partnership represents the beginning of a long-term collaboration in the areas of co-design, co-development, production, marketing and sales of integrated fuel cell battery solutions.

With complementary technologies, customers, industries and markets, the Ballard and Forsee Power partnership is expected to increase technology performance, optimize costs, extend service life and reduce friction points for customers by providing pre-integrated and optimized electric powertrain solutions.

Bundling technological know-how and experience to conquer a growing market

Hydrogen-powered electric powertrains consist of a number of key components, including the fuel cell module, the battery system and the energy management system (EMS). The fuel cell module, which is powered by hydrogen stored in tanks in the vehicle, generates electricity that is fed into the electric powertrain. The batteries, which are charged by the electricity from the fuel cell, generate additional energy during sudden load fluctuations (e.g., when accelerating or climbing a steep incline). The fuel cell and battery systems thus complement each other, as the vehicle can run on the fuel cell, the battery, or both, depending on the duty cycle. To ensure optimization and high efficiency between these components, a reliable and intelligent EMS is critical.

For the planned integrated solution, Ballard will supply the fuel cell system and associated controls. Forsee Power will contribute the battery system and associated battery management system, cooling system and high-voltage DC/DC converter system. The parties intend to jointly develop the EMS to optimize the architecture of the hybrid fuel cell/battery system.

Ballard announces strategic investment in Forsee IPO

As part of the strategic relationship, Ballard is committing to participate as a cornerstone investor (up to €40 million) in Forsee's planned initial public offering. This commitment would allow Ballard to acquire a stake in Forsee Power in its IPO on Euronext in Paris, with Ballard also having the right to appoint a member to Forsee Power's board of directors.

Share may gain

Ballard Power's shares gained 14.4 percent last week to 13.68 euros (closing price Oct. 15, Stuttgart Stock Exchange). Today, too, the share continues its positive development; currently, the RENIXX Group's share price stands at 13.92 euros, up 1.75 percent (10/18/2021, 4:05 p.m., Stuttgart Stock Exchange).

Source: IWR Online, 18 Oct 2021