EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO), an entity fully consolidated within the Group of majority shareholder ElringKlinger AG, and operated in partnership with French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium, which holds the remaining ownership interests, secured a contract from a global automotive manufacturer to supply mass-produced bipolar plates for the carmaker’s future fuel cell system.
The contract covers an initial term of five years as from 2026 and a total volume in the mid-triple-digit million euro range. EKPO intends to invest a figure in the high double-digit million euro range for production at a new site.
EKPO bipolar plate
EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO), headquartered in Dettingen/Erms (Germany), is a leading joint venture in the development and large-scale production of fuel cell stacks for CO2-neutral mobility. The company is a full-service supplier for fuel cell stacks and components used in passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, as well as in train and marine applications. Within this context, the company is building on the industrialization expertise of two established international automotive suppliers: ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium.
The aim of the joint venture is to develop and mass-produce high-performance fuel cell stacks in order to further advance CO2-neutral mobility—whether on the road, rail, water or off-road.
In February, EKPO announced it had secured a contract from a European car manufacturer for fuel cell stacks to be fitted to a future series production vehicle. The agreement includes the development of a custom-made stack for the global OEM’s future mass-produced vehicle that is to be powered by a fuel cell.
In addition to development work, the contract also covered the supply of prototypes and has an initial volume in the single-digit million euro range. Delivery of these stacks is scheduled to commence as early as 2023.
The customer will receive a tailor-made fuel cell stack for use in the vehicle. The challenge with regard to this project is the combination of performance and compact design, as the vehicle’s installation footprint for the stack is limited. The combination of a customized bipolar plate and the matching high-power MEA is designed to ensure that the stack delivers an excellent peak performance. The bipolar plate developed and produced by EKPO is to include a seal on the metal plate and a special coating in support of high performance and durability. Initially, the stacks are to be produced at EKPO’s headquarters in Dettingen/Erms.