ABB teams with AFC Energy on fuel cell charger

ABB teams with AFC Energy on fuel cell charger

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

One of the major challenges with rolling out high power DC fast chargers is the grid connection. So the two will develop DC electric vehicle fast chargers using AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell technology for a fully autonomous, high power EV fuel cell charger.

The system will be ready for deployment initially in the UK, Europe, United States and elsewhere, by the second half of 2021.

Forecasts predict by 2040 there will be just under 500m EVs on the road and 58 percent of all new passenger vehicle sales and 47 percent of the global fleet will be electric. As a result the global EV charging market is expected to reach US$140bn by 2030, growing at an estimated CAGR of 31.2%, and power network upgrades will be critical to facilitate this level of deployment.

“This partnership with AFC Energy allows us to continue to push the boundaries of e-mobility, specifically targeting off-grid applications and thus enabling a much wider reach of e-mobility based on clean energy,” said Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s global business for E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions at ABB.

The technology can also be used in power applications such as data centres, which Bosch has already targeted through a deal with solid oxide fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power in the UK.

“Our partnership with AFC Energy offers potential beyond the traditional EV market,” said Muehlon. “The DC fast charging system will have applications for commercial and logistics carriers, marine and urban transport. Sustainable solutions are also being developed for other growing segments like data centres and utilities to enable optimized carbon footprint.”

AFC Energy’s HydroX-Cell(L) H-Power EV Recharge system replaces a diesel generator, combining with battery storage or supplementary grid power to produce power from liquid hydrogen or ammonia. The company makes systems with 20kW and 160KW and is planning a 400kW system next year that will support between 25 and 100 charging points.

The partnership is the Surrey-based company’s first strategic collaboration with a global OEM.

“Today marks an historic milestone in the commercialization of our proprietary hydrogen fuel cell as we commence a long-term relationship with ABB. This strategic partnership is fully aligned with AFC Energy’s go to market strategy, with ABB providing strong and credible access to key customer channels both in Europe and overseas,” said Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy.

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