ABB to develop high power EV charging solution in partnership with AFC Energy

ABB, Zürich, Switzerland, has announced the launch of a strategic partnership with AFC Energy plc, Surrey, United Kingdom, to create the next generation of high power sustainable electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for grid constrained locations.

Utilizing ABB’s energy storage solution and market leading DC electric vehicle fast chargers along with AFC Energy’s zero emission, high efficiency hydrogen fuel cell, the strategic collaboration will deliver a fully autonomous, high power EV charging system, to provide an end-to-end solution for high power charging sites with limited grid connection.

With predictions suggesting that by 20401 there will be just under 500 million EVs on the road and 58 percent of all new passenger vehicle sales and 47 percent of the global fleet will be electric, getting the right infrastructure in place to fuel this, regardless of grid limitations, will be key. The Global EV charging market is expected to reach US$140bn by 20302, growing at an estimated CAGR of 31.2%, and power network upgrades will be critical to facilitate this level of deployment.

The collaboration between ABB and AFC Energy aims to support the delivery of the charging infrastructure required to meet this increasing demand. It will result in a new solution that will provide a secure, efficient, flexible and reliable local power supply, with zero emissions, and will be ready for deployment initially in the UK, Europe, United States and elsewhere, by the second half of 2021.

Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s global business for E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions at ABB, said: “ABB has led the way in e-mobility solutions and is proud to have played a key role in driving EV adoption rates across the world. This partnership with AFC Energy allows us to continue to push the boundaries of e-mobility, specifically targeting off-grid applications and thus enabling a much wider reach of e-mobility based on clean energy.

“At ABB we believe that sustainable development means progress towards a healthier and more prosperous world today and for future generations. It is through innovative applications of technology such as this partnership with AFC Energy that we can enable a low-carbon society. AFC Energy is uniquely positioned with their cost effective alkaline based fuel cell technology, which makes it a perfect match.”

AFC Energy is a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technology, which can provide clean electricity for on and off grid applications. The company’s standard solution provides power for charging infrastructure where traditionally a diesel generator would be used. The partnership with ABB is the UK listed company’s first strategic collaboration with a global OEM.

Adam Bond, Chief Executive Officer at AFC Energy, said: “Today marks an historic milestone in the commercialization of our proprietary hydrogen fuel cell as we commence a long-term relationship with ABB. This strategic partnership is fully aligned with AFC Energy’s go to market strategy, with ABB providing strong and credible access to key customer channels both in Europe and overseas.

“It will bring to market a unique, zero emission solution powered by world leaders in electrification and alkaline fuel cell technologies, to enable deployment of future high power EV charging infrastructure. This is a key step on the journey to full decarbonization of mobility and transport across the globe, as we continue to drive down costs and further increase manufacturing scale underwritten by emerging global market opportunities”.

Muehlon concludes: “Our partnership with AFC Energy offers potential beyond the traditional EV market. The DC fast charging system will have applications for commercial and logistics carriers, marine and urban transport. Sustainable solutions are also being developed for other growing segments like data centers and utilities to enable optimized carbon footprint.”

About ABB

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 144,000 employees.

About AFC Energy plc

AFC Energy plc (AFC: AIM) is commercializing a scalable alkaline fuel cell system, to provide clean electricity for on and off grid applications. The technology, pioneered over the past twelve years in the UK, is now deployable in electric vehicle chargers, off-grid decentralized power systems and industrial gas plants as part of a portfolio approach to the decarbonization of local electricity needs.

[1] Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020, BloombergNEF
[2] Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Market: Global Opportunity and Trend Analysis, 2019-2030

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