Image: Eberspaecher

Eberspaecher, a leading automotive supplier, has entered the rapidly developing industry for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

The company has agreed to buy 100% of the shares of ViCTORi LLC, better known as VAIREX air systems, in the United States, effective 2 July 2021. Eberspaecher will eventually offer air supply components for fuel cell systems.

With increasing decarbonization, hydrogen is gaining in importance as an energy carrier. “We are deliberately investing in a future market and want to grow purposefully with hydrogen and fuel cell technology,” says Managing Partner Martin Peters, explaining the investment. The Esslingen-based company is acquiring 100% of the shares of the U.S. company.

ViCTORi designs and manufactures fuel cell cathode air compressors and associated components under the well-known brand VAIREX air systems. These regulate the amount of energy generated by the fuel cell via precise air flow and pressure supply, making them a critical component of the fuel cell’s function and considerably contributing to the overall system’s performance, packing, and longevity. Already, the technology is being used in fixed and mobile fuel cell applications, including emission-free forklifts and conveyor vehicles.

Additionally, they are utilized to expand the range of light delivery vehicles and stationary power producing equipment. Due to the components’ great reliability, they can be employed in future fuel-cell vehicles and buses. Due to the robust growth of the entire market for fuel cell applications, Eberspaecher is investing strategically. According to market predictions, fuel cell systems will have a global sales potential of eight billion US dollars by 2030.

Ski Milburn, CEO of VAIREX air systems, emphasizes: “After years of strong and recently accelerating growth, VAIREX needed to significantly expand our scale and global footprint to keep pace with the fuel cell industry. Eberspächer is an excellent fit, and we are thrilled to become part of this great company. Together we can quickly amplify our engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and introduce our planned new products much quicker than we could have done it by ourselves.” Milburn will remain in operational management with the current management team. 

In addition, Dr. Jörg Schernikau, COO Climate Control Systems and Automotive Controls at Eberspaecher, states: “While acquiring VAIREX we open up a new business area for Eberspaecher. In doing so, we rely on the many years of Dr. Massimo Venturi’s experience. With his knowledge in fuel cell technology, he will, in addition to his previous functions at Eberspaecher, become President of VAIREX, and further develop the company.” The automotive supplier plans to expand the product portfolio and open up new markets. “We plan to further develop and scale up VAIREX’s products through Eberspaecher’s global presence and integrate our electronics expertise.” The acquisition is part of the company’s targeted development of new business areas in the field of “Hydrogen for Mobility”. 

Nedim Husomanovic

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