EKPO receives funding of EUR 177 million for the ongoing refinement of high-performance fuel cell stacks




EKPO receives funding of EUR 177 million for the ongoing refinement of high-performance fuel cell stacks.


Fuel cells represent a key technology when it comes to successfully shaping the transformation of the mobility sector. EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO), a leading technology provider specializing in the development and large-scale production of fuel cell stacks for carbon-neutral mobility, has now received confirmation of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport that it is to be granted funding of up to EUR 177 million for the years up to and including 2027 as part of the European “IPCEI Hydrogen” (Important Project of Common European Interest) program. Funding will be provided by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport and the Ministry of the Environment of the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The EKPO project, aimed at developing and industrializing a new generation of high-performance PEM fuel cell stack modules for heavy-duty applications, had previously been selected by the German government. The high-performance stack modules are to be deployed primarily in the commercial vehicle sector, but also in buses and maritime applications, in the field of rail transportation, and in stationary systems. Alongside development, funding also covers preparations at a commercial level through to series production of the innovative fuel cell stacks.


Dr. Gernot Stellberger, Managing Director at EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, said:


The funding granted is to be seen as an important pillar for EKPO’s future development and will unlock new opportunities for us to significantly expand our product portfolio, particularly in the heavy-duty/high-performance segment, and to evolve our business model.


“This is underpinned by our already market-leading stack technology and our high level of expertise in the field of industrial-scale production.”

Implementing the IPCEI forms part of the federal government’s National Hydrogen Strategy, which is geared toward making hydrogen technology established in Germany within competitive structures. To this end, the federal government had selected 62 large-scale projects to be jointly funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, and the respective federal states with a total budget of more than EUR 8 billion. The selected projects cover large parts of the value chain within the hydrogen market. EKPO is one of four German companies to have been granted approval in the so-called first wave of “IPCEI Hydrogen”.

The stack modules represent a new benchmark with regard to performance and power density and are targeted at the life cycle of heavy commercial vehicles. In order to commercialize the new stack modules, both processes and design have to be optimized in terms of costs and manufacturability. In addition, the plan is to significantly reduce the carbon footprint in production. Thus, the aim of the project includes successfully migrating fuel cell stacks to mass production with a stacking rate in the parts-per-second range, while meeting the highest quality standards.

IPCEI programs encompass strategic funding projects at a pan-European level that are aimed at establishing a European value chain in key economic sectors of relevance to the future. The hydrogen industry has been identified as one such key sector, of which hydrogen mobility forms a constituent part.




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