HRC, Voith Composites working on FCEVs

September 20, 2019 - China

HRC, leading composites solution provider, and Voith Composites, the development and series production centre of carbon fibre-reinforced composites in the Voith Group, are working on the next generation hydrogen high pressure vessels for FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles). The two have signed a memorandum of understanding in this connection.

The deal is significant in view of the current challenges and market requirements.

According to China's Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cell Industry White Book, breakthroughs have been made in key technologies and technical bottlenecks such as power density, life and cold start of fuel cell stacks. By the end of 2018, the installed capacity of hydrogen fuel cells in the world had exceeded 2.090,5 MW, and the total sales of passenger vehicles had reached 9.900.

“Although the technology of FCEV is already commercially ready with leading OEMs offering selected models in serial production, a significant market penetration of fuel cells has not yet been achieved. There are several challenges which must be overcome for FCEVs to be competitive with conventional vehicles (ICE, HEV, PHEV, BEV), but their potential benefits are substantial. One of these challenges are the high-pressure vessels used as hydrogen tanks in FCEVs which are one of the main cost drivers. Cheaper solutions will open new competitive solutions in EV market, which could be achieved by reducing material and process costs for the vessel manufacturing. Whereas a reduction of process costs in combination with new vessel concepts have the most impact, which forms the basis of the partnership between HRC and Voith,” commented Dr. Timo Huber, vice president of the R and D unit of HRC Group.

The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transport and automotive. Voith Composites is the R and D and production centre of carbon fibre reinforced composites in the Voith Group. Voith Composites develops customised solutions for components and industrial production processes along the entire value chain. All development and construction processes are based on state-of-the-art methods to design lightweight composite components.

“HRC is a very outstanding company, especially in terms of R and D and production capability,” said Matthias Odrobina, CEO of Voith Composites. Voith has a profound knowledge in composite winding area and already gained considerable experience in hydrogen vessel development. I believe the MOU we are signing now will definitely bring us to another level of cooperation where both companies will benefit from the broad potential market.” (SV)