The Swedish government’s venture capital company for the automotive industry, Fouriertransform, is investing SEK 60 million (US$8.5 million) in Powercell Sweden AB, which develops, produces and sells fuel cells, fuel reformers and auxiliary power units. This is Fouriertransform’s first investment.
Powercell Sweden was formed in 2005 as a joint venture between AB Volvo and Statoil ASA. The company is targeting the development of fuel cell Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) in the range of 5-10 kW for heavy-duty trucks and other high-tech niche markets. The primary market sectors for PowerCell are the European and North American truck markets, with a focus on trucks larger than 20 tons.
Powercell Sweden’s technology is based on two patented components: a fuel converter (reformer) and a PEM fuel cell stack. The autothermal reformer, developed by OWI (Oel Waerme Institut) in Aachen, produces hydrogen gas from biofuels such as ethanol, DME (Dimethyl ether), biogas, methanol and biodiesel, but also from regular diesel or gasoline. The PEM fuel cell, developed at Volvo, then converts the hydrogen gas into electricity.
Fouriertransform’s investment will be made by a directed share issue, (i.e. money is injected directly into the company in exchange for new shares). Through Volvo Technology Transfer, AB Volvo will remain as the largest owner of Powercell Sweden AB, with more than 40% of the shares. The other owners are OCAS, Midroc New Technology and Fouriertransform.
We regard it as very positive that Powercell will gain an additional strong financial owner. This will enable us to be a long-term partner in heavy industrial development projects.
—Per Wassén, Chairman of Powercell Sweden AB and Investment Director at Volvo Technology Transfer
In July, Midroc and OCAS, along with the Swedish Energy Agency and Volvo Technology Transfer, made a joint investment of SEK 200 million (US$28.4 million) in Powercell Sweden AB. (Earlier post.)
Fouriertransform AB (FTAB) is a venture capital company, established and owned by the Swedish State for investments in companies in the automotive industry. FTAB has a commercial mission, and its investments shall generate market return in the long term.