Monday, August 3, 2009

Intelligent Energy targets bike fleets in fuel cell drive

Fuel cell system

UK fuel cell specialist outlines how it plans to spend the cash raised through its recent $30m funding round

By James Murray, BusinessGreen, 03 Aug 2009

Fresh from securing $30m through its latest funding round, UK-based fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy has outlined plans to add to its operations globally and expand its presence in the growing market for fuel-cell powered motorbikes and combined heat and power (CHP) units.

Speaking to, chief executive Henri Winand said the company was planning to use the funding it announced last month to bolster its commercial activities, and is now looking for new customers to install its fuel cell technology.

"We have largely completed the R&D phase," he said. "Obviously, as a technology company R&D will continue, but our focus now is to build our model of working behind the factory gates for OEM partners such as Suzuki, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Boeing."

The company currently operates a partnership model where it licenses its fuel cell design to be used in a range of different applications and then works with manufacturers to install the system in their end products. For example, last year it set up a joint venture with SSE to develop fuel-cell powered CHP units for commercial and domestic properties.

The company is also working with Suzuki on developing fuel-cell powered bikes, recently trialled the use of fuel cell as a source of auxiliary power for one of Boeing's aircraft, and is working on a project to deliver a number of fuel-cell powered black cabs in London, in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Winand said a key target market would be the bike sector, where he argued fuel cells offered a compelling alternative to conventional engines.

"The two-wheel market is going from strength to strength," he said. "We will have fuel-cell powered bikes on the road by the end of the year and we are going to target fleet customers first." …

Intelligent Energy targets bike fleets in fuel cell drive

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