Successful trial of fuel cell range extender for Smith Electric Vehicles
Proton Power Systems plc (AIM:PPS), a leading designer, developer and producer of fuel cells and fuel cell electric hybrid systems, is pleased to announce the success of the first testing phase for the range extender system for Smith Electric Vehicles ("Smith"). The Group is conducting trials on the 'Smith Edison' light commercial vehicle, which is based on the Ford Transit chassis.
Once trials on the Smith Edison have been completed, Proton Power will commercially launch its system in the 'Newton', Smith's 7.5 to 12.0 tonne all-electric truck.
The initial phase of the operation, which began in September 2010 at the Stuttgart DLR Institute, showed that the additional energy from Proton Power's fuel cell system provided a significant increase to Edison's operational range. The final range benefit will depend on the size of the integrated fuel cell system, the onboard storage capacity for hydrogen and the vehicle's drive cycle. Overall, the positive trial results are in line with the Group's expectations.
Commenting on the range extender system, Thomas Melczer, CEO of Proton Power, said: "We are delighted that the first phase of testing for our range extender has been such a success and we believe it will provide a significant improvement for the market of electric powered light duty vehicles. The improved range of operation opens up exciting new possibilities to the Group as we begin to address a wider market segment. I wish to thank the whole team at Proton Power and Smith for their efforts in achieving these excellent results."
Kevin Harkin, Sales Director for Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "Enhancing the range capabilities broadens the application for electric vehicles within large fleets, without compromising our zero emission philosophy. Through the trials, we have already received notable interest from fleet operators in the Proton Power system and we look forward to reporting in due course on the next stage of development."
The second phase of testing will include the complete integration of the Proton Power system into a Smith vehicle and is expected to run until summer 2011. The Group expects the commercial launch of the vehicles towards the end of 2011.
Proton Power Systems plc is a developer and manufacturer of fuel cells and fuel cell hybrid systems for motive and stationary power supply. Its sales-driven strategy focuses on identifying applications with the greatest market needs and supplying large volumes of cost-competitive systems to fulfil those needs. Proton is targeting a global opportunity, accessing a broad range of markets through partnerships with leading OEMs such as Skoda Electric and SEV.
Motive applications include forklifts, city buses, municipal utility vehicles and ferries; 'back-to-base' markets which can readily utilise the modularity and scalability of the Company's hydrogen fuel cell systems, and which do not depend on the existence of a ubiquitous hydrogen infrastructure, thereby facilitating swift commercialisation.
Stationary applications focus on the Uninterruptible Power Supply sector, where there is a large demand for mission-critical, grid-independent secure power supply in places such as telecommunications stations, data centres, hospitals, and power substations. Further market potential lies in industrial and chemical processing plants, where the otherwise wasted hydrogen by-product can be harnessed for producing local power.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH ("Proton Motor"), the Group has developed and produced a fuel cell module that can be integrated with energy storage media to create a hybrid fuel cell system. A proprietary, intelligent energy management software balances the power output across the fuel cell storage unit(s) to maximise efficiency and improve power delivery. The system thus boasts lower fuel consumption and more consistent levels of power delivery than conventional diesel/combustion engine or fuel cell-only systems, in addition to producing zero harmful emissions.
Proton Power Systems plc was admitted to trading on AIM on 31 October 2006 and is incorporated in the UK. Proton Motor has more than 15 years of experience in the fuel cell market and is located in Puchheim, near Munich, Germany, where its manufacturing facility is based.
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