cellcentric starts pilot production of fuel cell systems

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 21, 2024

cellcentric has inaugurated pilot production for fuel cell systems at its Esslingen-Pliensauvorstadt site, taking a significant step towards large-scale production.

cellcentric is working towards supplying fuel cells on a large scale by the end of the decade, when fuel cell powered long-haul heavy-duty trucks are predicted to become a key technology for sustainable transportation.

cellcentric’s goal is to develop, produce and distribute fuel cell systems on a large scale in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg that achieve the best possible total cost of ownership in the highly competitive transportation industry. In addition, cellcentric intends to cover the entire fuel cell ecosystem – from the product itself to maintenance and recycling at the end of its life cycle.

“Fuel cell technology is a well-proven solution for CO2-neutral long-distance heavy-duty transportation. However, it has not yet been produced on an industrial scale, which is precisely the key to achieving economies of scale, optimising the total cost of ownership and putting cellcentric in a solid competitive position in the long term,” said Lars Johansson, chief commercial officer and chief organisational officer of cellcentric GmbH & Co. KG.

“The opening of our pilot production facility in Esslingen is not the end point of large-scale production, but rather the blueprint for the next step,” he said.

“In the coming years, we will continue to consistently drive forward the industrialisation and scaling of production of fuel cell systems at the Weilheim site.”

 Fuel cell systems for sustainable heavy goods transport on the way to mass production

cellcentric’s production facility in Esslingen-Pliensauvorstadt has more than 100 employees and features over 10,300 square meters of production, logistics and office/administration space. The property, in the immediate vicinity of the federal highway 10, is part of the Esslingen industrial park greenfield.

In a next step, cellcentric will establish the necessary production processes at the site to prepare for the start of a large-scale production of fuel cell systems with a high degree of vertical integration.

Fuel cell ecosystem beyond the product life cycle

In addition to the development and production of fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transportation, cellcentric will create a complete ecosystem around the highly complex assemblies.

Ultimately, cellcentric is planning an environmentally friendly return of the fuel cell systems at the end of their life cycle.

Sustainable propulsion technology for global heavy-duty transportation

In May 2024, cellcentric presented its smaller, more powerful and efficient NextGen fuel cell system for sustainable hydrogen-powered long-haul trucks for the first time at the ACT Expo in Las Vegas, USA. In addition, with the BZA150 fuel cell generation, the company has a close to series production and already practical pilot product that has been successfully tested by the truck manufacturers Daimler Truck and Volvo Group in demanding field tests. Series production of the NextGen fuel cell system is scheduled to begin at the end of the decade.