Fuel cells move towards volume production

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Proton Motor has signed a five-year agreement with Deutsche Mechatronics, a contract manufacturer, to facilitate volume production of fuel cell systems in Germany in a move designed to speed up delivery of its products to market in a cost-effective way.

Proton Motor is a subsidiary of Proton Power Systems, which designs, develops and produces fuel cells and fuel cell electric hybrid systems. Its applications include forklifts, commercial vehicles, city buses, municipal utility vehicles, and ferries.

Under the terms of the agreement Deutsche Mechatronics will manufacture Proton Motor’s fuel cell hybrid systems, with the production capacity to be gradually increased up to 5,000 units per year per shift.

Thomas Melczer, chief executive of Proton Power, said: “During the last months, we have seen an increased demand for our fuel cell systems. This contract manufacturing agreement will enable us to prove to our potential customers that we have the immediate capabilities to mass produce and supply our products to them. Furthermore, volume production will reduce the cost of our products and will enable us to accommodate the individual needs of our customers more easily.”

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Proton Motor Fuel Cell, the group has developed fuel cell modules that can be integrated with energy storage media to create hybrid fuel cell systems. Proprietary, intelligent energy management software balances the power output across the system to maximise efficiency and improve power delivery. The system therefore boasts lower fuel consumption and more consistent levels of power delivery than conventional diesel/combustion engine or fuel cell-only systems, while producing zero harmful emissions.

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