Hydrogenics, GM and NMHG to Strengthen Collaboration on Fuel Cell Technology

July 13, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

General Motors of Canada, NACCO Materials Handling Group, Inc. (NMHG) and Hydrogenics Corp. announced today that they received funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for a demonstration project that will drive advancement of hydrogen technologies for application in commercial lift trucks and other industrial vehicles. The funding, subject to final contract negotiations, will be leveraged by project partners.

The demonstration project will involve use of Hydrogenics' beta version HyPM® Fuel Cell Power Packs in up to 19 lift trucks and tuggers in operation over a two-year period at GM's Oshawa car plant.

The materials handling market is one of the first major commercial mobility markets for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The HyPM Fuel Cell Power Packs provide a clean power option that is compatible with current electric lift trucks. The pack is ideal for this application because it fits within the existing battery compartment. For operators of large fleets of lift trucks in 24 hour operations, HyPM Fuel Cell Power Packs offer a near-term, economically viable alternative to batteries, by enabling productivity and operational improvements that include: faster refueling compared to the time required for battery recharging; extended run-time between fills; and consistent and abundant power.

Hydrogenics is leading the partners, who previously collaborated in the successful four month deployment of two alpha prototype forklifts in 2005 at GM of Canada's Oshawa Car Plant. The new project builds on the previous project to further demonstrate in a real world setting, the reliability, durability and other performance metrics of the next generation beta HyPM Fuel Cell Power Packs. The project will also quantify total cost of ownership, which is expected to improve due to productivity improvements realized through the efficiencies of operating fuel cell powered lift trucks in an industrial environment.

The vehicles for the project will be powered by a next-generation HyPM Fuel Cell Power Pack, the development of which is being partially funded by the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance, a $33 million federal government initiative that will demonstrate and evaluate fuelling options for fuel cell vehicles in Canada. Hydrogenics' development of the next generation Fuel Cell Power Pack is currently underway.