Astris Energi Closes on Fuel Cell Production Venture

February 10, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Astris Energi Inc. (Mississauga, ON), developer of alkaline fuel cell technology, and CareAction Inc. (Montreal, Quebec) announced a $15-million joint venture destined to become the first volume producer of alkaline fuel cells for this year. A new company, Astris Transportation Systems Inc. (ATSI) has been formed and will shortly begin installing a production facility in the Montreal area.

Astris is licensing its alkaline fuel cell technology generated over the past l5 years to the joint venture, while CareAction will provide skilled engineering and production management as well as financing. Generous Quebec government support is also anticipated. Astris owns 40 percent of the equity in the new venture with CareAction holding the remaining 60 percent. CareAction is also investing in Astris.

The Astris technical staff, headed by Astris President Jiri Nor, will continue its research and consumer product development activities under contract to ATSI. It will pursue both advancement of the three electric energy sources the company now has and the addition of more powerful systems to the ATSI product line.

The first project will be to adapt the Astris E7-MC250 fuel cell generator to power the Zenn electric vehicle designed for use by the disabled and seniors, as well as the general public. The Zenn is a product of Feel Good Cars Inc., an affiliate of CareAction. The first fuel cell-powered Zenn will be rolled out before the end of this year, followed by volume production of fuel cell power units for both stationary and mobile applications, including use in golf cars, neighborhood electric vehicles, and other people and material movers.