ElringKlinger sharpens its focus in the area of fuel cell technology


As part of the strategic orientation of its E-Mobility division, ElringKlinger AG has taken the decision to focus on PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) technology in future; it is of key relevance to mobile applications.

Against this backdrop, ElringKlinger will sell its existing business centered around high-temperature SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) technology - which will also cover its ownership interest in new enerday GmbH, Neubrandenburg - to Dresden-based sunfire GmbH. The parties to the contract have agreed not to disclose details relating to the purchase price. The purchase agreement was signed on September 19, 2018, with the closing of the transaction having been scheduled for September 30, 2018.

Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, explained the company's strategic considerations as follows: "In taking this step, we are looking to hone our profile as a supplier of innovative drive solutions. The PEM fuel cell solutions developed by our company in recent years for full market roll-out are suitable in particular for mobile applications. It is precisely this technology that we are keen to take to the next level as we move forward." ElringKlinger supplies PEM fuel cell stacks for various types of vehicle and can draw on many years of successful R&D work in this field. The technology is based on hydrogen as the energy source, resulting in zero CO2 emissions.

By contrast, high-temperature SOFCs are powered with methane from natural gas, bio gas, or LPG. They are used mainly for stationary applications. The company's existing SOFC business complements the product range of sunfire GmbH by extending its portfolio to include small fuel cell devices for off-grid electricity supply and micro-CHP solutions for single-family homes. The Dresden-based energy specialist currently develops and produces large SOFC devices as well as systems for the generation of renewable gases and fuels.

In 2017, the ElringKlinger Group's SOFC business contributed around EUR 0.6 million to consolidated revenue of close to EUR 1.7 billion. SOFC-based revenue is expected to be comparable to this figure in the current financial year.

PEM fuel cell
ElringKlinger has been committed to research and development within the area of fuel cell technology for a period spanning almost 20 years. Alongside battery technology and electric drive systems, the company considers PEM fuel cells to be a key field for the future of next-generation mobility. ElringKlinger's product range within the area of PEM fuel cells includes metallic bipolar plates, plastic media modules, fuel cell stacks, and end-to-end systems. When it comes to automotive applications, fuel cell drives offer key advantages in the form of long ranges and quick refueling. PEMFC systems can also be used as range extenders for battery-powered vehicles. Additionally, PEM fuel cells are also being deployed to an increasing extent in stationary applications.