Plastic Omnium supplies German retrofitter with fuel cell systems for hydrogen trucks

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 03 Jul 2021


German company Elektro-Fahrzeuge Stuttgart (EFA-S) has selected Plastic Omnium for the delivery of fuel cell systems to equip the GAZelle with an e-powertrain. This emission-free truck will first be used by the city of Esslingen (Germany) for road maintenance.

EFA-S aims to set up a fleet of more than 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2023. EFA-S is a German company equipping new and used cars and trucks with electric drives into environmentally friendly vehicles. EFA-S works independently from manufacturers and converts vehicles of various ranges, including the GAZelle light commercial vehicle made by Russian manufacturer GAZ.

“We are pleased to work with EFA-S on this innovative commercial vehicle concept with fuel cell electric drive,” said Ewald Wahlmueller, Managing Director, Plastic Omnium Wels (Austria). “Our fuel cell technology will enable the truck to benefit from a driving range of 500 kilometres with only 3-minute refill time, while contributing to EFA-S’ ambitions in terms of clean and sustainable mobility.” Bastian Beutel, Managing Director of EFA-S, added: “Commercial vehicles with electric drive are key if we really want to make supply chains eco-friendly. And if it comes to larger vehicles or if a reach of at least 500 kilometres per day is necessary electric drive is not possible without fuel cell technology. Therefore, at EFA-S we are offering electric powertrains using hydrogen and fuel cell as well as pure battery powered vehicles.”

The Plastic Omnium fuel cell system is a fully self-controlled and safe electric power source for heavy-duty applications. The system integrates hydrogen and air supply, cooling, power electronics and a control unit into a protected and qualified package with standardized interface for seamless integration into the e-powertrain of a zero-emission vehicle. T

he stack, the core component of a fuel cell system, will be supplied by EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO), the newly established joint venture of ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium. Julien Etienne, General Manager of EKPO, commented: “The system that EFA-S has chosen includes a cutting-edge technology as EKPO stacks have the highest power density currently available in the market. EKPO builds on expertise in industrial-scale production to supply stacks in large-scale volumes by highly efficient, automated manufacturing processes – fully audited and in proven automotive quality.”