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Volkswagen Group & Audi accelerate fuel cell technology solutions program with Ballard

Ballard Power Systems announced that automotive OEM Audi AG has issued purchase orders to Ballard to accelerate certain key development activities under the current long-term Technology Solutions program that Volkswagen Group has with Ballard. (Earlier post.)

The current 6-year engineering services contract with Volkswagen Group runs to March 2019, with an optional 2-year extension beyond that date. The contract has an estimated value of C$100-140 million. The resulting HyMotion program encompasses automotive fuel cell stack development as well as system design support activities.

Volkswagen Group recently transferred responsibility for fuel cell development to its Audi luxury brand, and is also accelerating the timeline for series production. The acceleration in HyMotion program activities is focused on reconfiguration of the current fuel cell stack and acceleration in the development of a next-generation fuel cell stack.

We see our future as including electric powertrains, both battery and fuel cell vehicles.

—Dr. Petra Hackenberg-Wiedl, head of Fuel Cell Office Audi AG and Volkswagen Group

In 2015, Volkswagen Group acquired Ballard’s automotive fuel cell patent portfolio, resulting in the transfer of the automotive-related portion of fuel cell IP assets Ballard previously acquired from United Technologies Corporation. That transaction also extended the engineering services contract to 2019.

This acceleration of the HyMotion program confirms Volkswagen Group’s commitment to fuel cell technology and its long-term partnership with Ballard. At Ballard, we are fully committed to the consistent delivery of program goals and to the support of Volkswagen Group and Audi as it progresses toward its electrification targets with the world’s leading fuel cell stacks.

—Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO

Our HyMotion team of engineers and scientists are collaborating closely with Audi's experts and together we are on-track with respect to key technical and financial goals set for the current year.

—Dr. Kevin Colbow, Ballard’s Vice President – Technology and Product Development

Comments

HarveyD

Ballard is progressively falling behind Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan with the development of improved lower cost FCs for light vehicles.

Wonder if VW, Audi and Mercedes can push Ballard to accelerate development of improved units?

solarsurfer

Low platinum group catalyst research is being done but it needs to be pushed into the field . Us and Europe should change ip so universities receive royalty after these discoveries make it to market at proportion that makes it cheap to to transfer to the Ballard factories. Specialized companies like Ballard just won't make it across the valley of death for startups. If the oil subsidies were redirected to finding economic affordable fuel cell materials . The electric car revolution will finally take the hockey stick growth curve.

SJC

"In 2015, Volkswagen Group acquired Ballard’s automotive fuel cell patent portfolio, resulting in the transfer of the automotive-related portion of fuel cell IP assets Ballard previously acquired from United Technologies Corporation"

I don't think they would have bought the patents if they were "behind" in technology.

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