WAE Deutschland, a company based in Bad Dürkheim, Germany, has been researching and developing electric drives and batteries for some time. The company is known for equipping the all-electric Formula E motorsport series with batteries. Now, the startup is expanding its research to modern hydrogen drives for commercial vehicles.
Founder and head of strategy Uwe Hotz aims to grow the company’s current six-employee workforce to 30 over the next two years. The startup plans to invest a seven-digit amount to finance its expansion. Hotz is committed to the location in the Vorderpfalz region due to its proximity to several universities such as Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, and Kaiserslautern. In addition, the Daimler plant for commercial vehicles in Wörth is an important anchor point in the area.
Last year, WAE Deutschland was acquired by Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian mining billionaire who plans to operate his mines in a climate-neutral manner. The company is one of the largest iron ore mining companies in the world, and they aim to power their dump trucks with fuel cells researched by WAE Deutschland. To make this possible, Hotz calls on politicians to set up hydrogen pipelines and filling stations.
Petra Dick-Walther, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, believes that politicians can create the framework conditions that make it attractive for international companies to settle in Rhineland-Palatinate. The economic environment is one of the decisive factors in the choice of location. Dick-Walther notes that there are smaller, medium-sized companies in the vicinity that are active in the same technology area.
Hydrogen technology has been gaining attention in recent years as a clean alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity, producing only water vapor as a byproduct. This technology is particularly promising for heavy-duty vehicles that require a lot of power, such as commercial trucks. However, the widespread adoption of hydrogen technology is still limited by the lack of infrastructure for production, distribution, and refueling.
Despite the challenges, WAE Deutschland’s expansion into hydrogen technology is a promising development in the pursuit of cleaner and more sustainable transportation. With the support of politicians and other companies in the region, the startup could play a significant role in advancing hydrogen technology and reducing emissions from the transportation sector.