Delphi Automotive and Battelle Receive DOE Contract for SOFC Development

August 13, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

Delphi Automotive Systems (Flint, MI) and Battelle (Columbus, OH) have been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE, Washington, DC) to receive a 10-year, $74.6 million cost-share contract from the DOE to assist in the further development of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. According to the DOE, exact cost sharing and other terms of the agreement will be negotiated over the next several weeks.

The joint venture combines Delphi's extensive systems integration engineering capability, manufacturing expertise, and access to automotive and related markets with Battelle's internationally recognized experience in SOFC and microsystem technologies, and knowledge of the energy markets.

"We're very excited that the Department of Energy selected our proposal for the further development of fuel cell technology," said Guy C. Hachey, president, Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems. "We strongly believe in the

potential of this technology and are focused through this project to solve issues that will help usher fuel cell power into the mainstream. This cost-sharing contract will allow Delphi to continue to build upon our previously announced work on solid-oxide fuel cells."

Delphi and Battelle received one of four cost-sharing contracts awarded by the DOE, each focused on differing developmental areas for fuel cells and totaling $271.0 million. Delphi and Battelle's project is aimed at developing and testing a solid-oxide design that can be mass produced at a low cost for automotive and truck auxiliary power units, distributed-power generation, and military markets. The project will be based on a 5kW system that is adapted to operate on a

variety of fuels.

"We believe that the technology of SOFCs is advancing to the point of permitting the development of products with the performance required for both automotive and distributed-power applications," says Jeff Colwell, deputy

general manager, Battelle Automotive Technology. "We are pleased that the DOE

program will accelerate the development of commercially viable systems in the

next decade."