U.S. Company Expands Fuel Cells Into French Vehicles

A fuel cell company, H Power Corp, is joining with a car maker to develop low power vehicle fuel cells, its second recent deal with French companies.

CLIFTON, New Jersey, US, 2002-01-22 [] H Power has reached a joint development agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroën, the world’s sixth largest car manufacturer, to build 7 kW fuel cells that will be employed as range extenders, an on-board device that increases the current range of an electric power car through an alternative energy source. The minimum revenue to H Power from the agreement is estimated at US$2 million over three years. During the first year, H Power will receive $1 million for development and delivery of two separate generations of fuel cell systems. Based on the results of these efforts, both companies will seek to identify additional fuel cell applications. The agreement is based on an existing relationship where PSA previously tested two 5.5 kW fuel cell stacks, as well as other stacks from several different fuel cell manufacturers. The fuel cells were tested solely for range extender purposes in light duty vans. Following these tests, PSA identified H Power’s fuel cells as the most efficient and reliable performance measures required for application in PSA Peugeot Citroën’s vehicles. Last month, H Power said it had installed the first of six beta Residential Cogeneration Units at the facilities of Gaz de France, the European energy company. The residential fuel cell for combined heat and power is being tested in a house in a suburb of Paris, powered by regular household gas supply. “We view this agreement with Peugeot Citroën as a compelling application and natural extension of our portable and mobile line of products,” says H Power’s CEO Frank Gibbard. “We believe that using our fuel cell stacks to extend the range of an electric vehicle is an effective and realistic application of current fuel cell technology.” “We believe that H Power’s advanced fuel cell technologies and products will further complement our efforts focusing on the development of alternative and secondary fuel sources for our vehicles,” adds Pascal Hénault, vice president at PSA Peugeot Citroën.