A European automaker has given EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO) a contract to supply fuel cell stacks for a future batch of vehicles.

The agreement calls for the creation of a unique stack for a future fuel cell-powered mass-produced car from the global OEM. The contract’s initial volume is in the range of one to ten million euros and involves prototype supply in addition to development work. The delivery of the stacks is expected to start as soon as 2023.

For use in the car, the user will get a tailored fuel cell stack. As the vehicle’s installation area for the stack is constrained, the issue with this project is the mix of performance and compact design. Customized bipolar plates and high-power MEAs are used in tandem to ensure that the stack provides outstanding peak performance.

For great performance and longevity, the EKPO-developed and -produced bipolar plate will have a seal on the metal plate and a unique coating. The stacks will initially be created at the EKPO headquarters in Dettingen/Erms.

Since almost 20 years ago, EKPO has aggressively pursued fuel cell research and development through its parent firm ElringKlinger. The tiny stacks use hydrogen and oxygen to transform chemical energy into electrical energy and are based on proton-exchange membrane (PEM) technology. EKPO provides stacks in a number of configurations for system integration with clients.

Stacks with external parts and system capabilities built right into the media module are an additional choice. These characteristics significantly simplify and lower the cost of the fuel cell system. EKPO can handle the whole value chain of a hydrogen-based fuel cell powertrain by drawing on the system solutions of its parent business Plastic Omnium. Initially capable of producing up to 10,000 stacks annually, EKPO will gradually increase this amount in accordance with the volume of orders it receives.

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