Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association

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The CHFCA Blog

Clean Energy Perspectives

California Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Summit to take place October 5-6 in Sacramento

August 11, 2016
California Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Summit to take place October 5-6 in Sacramento

The California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) will be hosting the fourth annual California Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Summit, located at the California Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in Sacramento on October 5 and 6.  

The CHBC Summit brings many successful and bright industry leaders to interact with the influential members of the political community and discuss topics such as challenges in building necessary hydrogen infrastructure, financing projects, building sustainable supply chains for the manufacture and servicing of equipment, overcoming regulatory and permitting barriers for energy storage and hydrogen fueling, and educating the public. Presenters from industry leaders, both nationwide and internationally, will share their vision with influential members in the political community of how the hydrogen and fuel cell industry can address the nation’s environmental, energy, and business goals along with how it can help revolutionize our country’s portfolio of energy solutions. You can find more information at www.californiahydrogensummit.com.

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Hydrogen and fuel cell leaders to gather at Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit 2016 in Israel

June 09, 2016
Hydrogen and fuel cell leaders to gather at Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit 2016 in Israel

The 4th annual Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 2-3, 2016.  Focusing on innovation in fuels, as well as in vehicles and transportation systems, the two-day summit will feature interviews, panel discussions, case studies and brainstorming sessions with the world’s most distinguished decision makers and business leaders in the field, as well as exhibitions, B2B and networking opportunities, and a special gala dinner hosted by Prime Minister Benjamin Benjamin Netanyahu in which he will award the 2016 Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for a major breakthrough in the field of alternative fuels for transportation.

This year’s summit will feature a special symposium on automotive fuel cell technologies including hydrogen generation and storage. The aim of the symposium is to discuss both political and technological aspects around the implementation of Fuel Cell technologies. The dedicated panels will focus on issues such as regional drivers, world trends and outlook for the automotive industry regarding fuel cells and hydrogen fuels; technical aspects of refueling infrastructure, standardization and supporting policies; and the latest breakthrough technologies in the field. The Symposium will bring together top researchers, government officials, leading organizations, policymakers, companies and innovators from across the world.

The summit is part of Israel’s expanded efforts to reduce global oil dependence in transportation.

For more information about the Fuel Choices Summit, please visit www.fuelchoicessummit.com. 

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Canada needs a national hydrogen and fuel cell strategy

June 09, 2016
Canada needs a national hydrogen and fuel cell strategy

Ottawa— Canada is in need of a National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Strategy to continue to compete with increasing international clean tech competition and to rapidly reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in order to meet its commitments to the Paris Climate Change Accord, the Canadian organization advocating for zero emission clean technologies told Canada’s Senate today.

Canada is a world leader in fuel cell technologies, and exports the vast majority of the $200 million a year in Canadian fuel cell production overseas, but lacks a cohesive policy, regulatory and tax framework to encourage domestic deployment of zero emission fuel cell technology and hydrogen technology, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association President Eric Denhoff told the Senate.

Fuel cell technology has given rise to zero emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and buses, which produce only air and water and no GHGs, and are powered by hydrogen made from renewables like wind, solar and biomass. These vehicles and buses which will play a vital role in reducing GHG’s and improving air quality for Canadians.

Canadian fuel cells power buses in North America, Europe and Asia, with demand in European and Asian markets growing at an accelerated pace, he said, noting that Canadian fuel cell companies such as Hydrogenics and Ballard Power Systems have recently signed orders for the sale of thousands of bus and train fuel cell sets to China and Europe, continuing Canada’s leadership in the production of hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

However, Denhoff noted that Japan, Korea, China, the United States and Europe have all implemented national hydrogen and fuel cell strategies which encourage the rapid development of the industry in their countries. Meanwhile, Canada still lacks such a strategy and this “threatens our continued growth”.

Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell sector currently provides high-income employment for approximately 2,000 engineers, manufacturing specialists, researchers and business development executives, and the sector continues to expand as the world turns to fuel cells as a viable solution for greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to transportation solutions, fuel cells and hydrogen are highly valued for providing storage for excess wind and solar power—where off peak power is wasted—by taking the off peak wind or solar energy, and storing it as hydrogen in order to return it to the power grid through fuel cells at peak power need times. Furthermore, fuel cells are employed commercially in material handling solutions for large distribution centres, for backup power for telecom systems, for stationary power and increasingly for defence and aerospace solutions.

Hyundai launched commercial availability of Hyundai’s Tucson fuel cell SUV in Vancouver this year, and Honda and Toyota have also launched fuel cell vehicles. German automaker Mercedes-Benz also plans to launch their own fuel cell vehicle in 2017.

“Mercedes invested $70 million in Vancouver to create the world’s first automated fuel cell manufacturing plant, and Mercedes and Ford operate the 325 employee Automotive Fuel Cell Centre in Vancouver, Canada’s largest automotive research centre.” Denhoff noted, adding that in order for automakers and other investors to make further investments in Canada, the country requires National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Strategy to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to the sector, and the framework under which future investments can be made.

In California, for example, automakers are rapidly deploying FCEVs because “there is a plan for funding fuelling stations for FCEVs, a regulatory environment to encourage deployment of FCEVs and incentives,” Denhoff noted following the Senate hearing in Ottawa Thursday.

Now is the time for Canada to structure a national strategy to match concerted, similar efforts of key competitors overseas, and maintain its leadership role in the global hydrogen and fuel cell sector.

For more information, contact:

Eric Denhoff; President & CEO

Phone: 604-760-7176

Email: edenhoff@chfca,ca

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CHFCA Board of Directors Elect New Chair and Vice-Chair

May 17, 2016
CHFCA Board of Directors Elect New Chair and Vice-Chair

Daryl Wilson (Hydrogenics) and Ross Bailey (Greenlight Innovation) elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively

Vancouver, BC—The Board of Directors of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association is pleased to announce the election of a new Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board at its regular meeting on May 11, 2016.

Elected to the position of Chairman is Daryl Wilson, President and CEO of Hydrogenics, a leading Canadian developer and provider of hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell solutions.  With 25 years of experience in technology and industrial management, Mr. Wilson held senior leadership positions with Royal Group Technologies, ZENON Environmental, TOYOTA and Dofasco before joining Hydrogenics in 2006.

Elected to the position of Vice-Chairman is Ross Bailey, President of Greenlight Innovation, a Canadian manufacturer of fuel cell testing stations, battery test systems, and fuel cell dispensers.  Mr. Bailey has a wealth of experience in technology and corporate leadership with a strong background in sales, marketing, product development, M&A and international business.

Canada is a global leader in fuel cell and hydrogen technology, and Canadian companies are experiencing a record year, with major bus and train fuel cell set sales to China, the United States and Europe, as well as strong sales of new Power to Gas technology, which involve utilizing surplus, off-peak wind and solar power and storing the energy as hydrogen for use when power demand is peaking.

Canada has roughly 2,000 high-income, clean technology jobs in the H2 sector, and our companies generate approximately $200 million in annual revenue, with exports contributing a significant portion.

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Greenlight Innovation to focus on hydrogen fuel station infrastructure

April 20, 2016
Greenlight Innovation to focus on hydrogen fuel station infrastructure

How to gauge the state of the hydrogen and fuel sector? Follow the progress of a small company with big exports.

Ross Bailey is on a mission: To enable customers to develop clean energy technologies.

Eight years ago, when the Burnaby, Canada based company was re-launched by Bailey, a mechanical engineer with an MBA and multiple patents under his belt, the company had nine employees. It was the height of the economic downturn, when many companies who had invested heavily in fuel cell technology turned their focus to other things. Greenlight was no exception. Acquired four years earlier as a testing division by Hydrogenics, another key player in the hydrogen sector, it was dropped. But Bailey, along with three other Greenlight engineers, quickly partnered to jump-start the company on their own, focusing on sustainability and company growth. Today, Greenlight has 43 employees – still a relatively small company – but with big exports to customers around the world.

“For a small company, we deal with a lot of Fortune 500 companies,” says Bailey.

Greenlight is now a global leader in hydrogen fuel cell testing equipment. It has customers around the world, including Korea, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, South Africa, India and the US. Customers are divided fairly equally between Asia, Europe and the US, with Canada making up only five per cent of the total business. It’s a segment they'd like to see grow as Canada's economic focus moves away from fossil fuels.

“Our primary focus is on countries with a developed auto industry and an active research and development program at the academic level,” says Bailey.

Greenlight has done business with 11 of the world’s auto manufacturers, and has sold the greatest number of fuel cell test stations of any global supplier.  To service and support their testing equipment for their expanding European customer base, Greenlight opened a subsidiary office in Germany in October of 2015.

Part of Greenlight’s success is in its business model: Operating in multiple countries, and developing multiple products driven by customer needs. Greenlight doesn’t just make testing equipment, it collaborates on the development of diagnostic tools for research institutes and laboratories around the globe, including world leaders Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia’s Clean Energy Research Centre, both based in Greater Vancouver, Canada. The company is also a leading supplier of fuel cell manufacturing equipment.

“We make the tools to put it all together," says Bailey.

In the past five years, the company has happily seen a renewed interest from the auto manufacturers to return to the hydrogen fuel cell for powering vehicles. Offering hydrogen at gas stations better fits the fast re-fueling model that drivers are used to, in comparison to an electric battery car, which faces challenges with limited range and long recharging times, says Bailey.

“I think that most of the car companies would agree that hydrogen fuel cells will play a major part in the future of vehicle technology," says Bailey.

Following the heavy investment in automotive fuel cell technology in the early 2000s and then a bust with the economic downturn of 2008/2009, the automotive industry is now aggressively returning to fuel cells. Work in research and development has now progressed to production. No less than five automakers are working to release their next generation of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Bailey says he’s seeing a lot of renewed interest from automakers to bring the FCV to full commercialization, which means a new focus for this small Canadian company with big exports.

“This year, our focus is on hydrogen infrastructure products," says Bailey.

Greenlight's newest product is a hydrogen fuelling dispenser that will be unveiled on April 25th at this year’s Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, in Germany. Automakers have agreed on a standardized pressure for hydrogen, now set at 10,000 PSI (700 Bar), which means more hydrogen can be stored in the vehicle. And that translates to greater driving distances for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

“We’ve been working with the car companies for more than fifteen years on their testing equipment for clean energy vehicles, and now we’re going to complement that with hydrogen dispensers to fuel the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cars,” explains Bailey." It's a natural progression for us."

From research and development to production, to a new focus on infrastructure, Greenlight’s success doesn’t just illustrate savvy business management, but an evolution and maturity in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. 

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California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) Spring Summit with the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, on May 2, 2016

April 20, 2016
California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) Spring Summit with the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, on May 2, 2016

This year's California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) Spring Summit is co-locating in Long Beach, CA with the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, on May 2, 2016. As in years past, the Spring Summit will continue to bring together industry, government, and academia to advance the future of hydrogen in the United States and beyond.


Don’t miss the chance to hear from an impressive array of senior government officials and industry leaders provide their vision of the role of hydrogen and fuel cells in California and the U.S. and laying out their plans for continued technology commercialization.


This year’s topics include:


· Status of station deployment
· Challenges for energy storage technologies in regulatory proceedings
· The Zero Emission Bus Resource Alliance (ZEBRA)
· Product needs for port settings
· European view of energy storage
· And much more

ACT Expo 2016 brings the entire transportation industry together for an expansive showcase of the technologies, fuels, policies, and organizations driving innovation and sustainability on our roadways. Every leading advanced transportation supplier will be at ACT Expo to unveil and display today's latest innovations and next generation technologies—from OEMs, to suppliers of motors, equipment, fuel, fueling infrastructure, and more.


Attendees may register only for the CHBC Spring Summit, or receive a $100 discount when they register for both the Summit and Expo (ACT Expo registration is an additional, separate fee).


Register for the CHBC Spring Summit at ACT Expo by clicking here
Visit the Spring Summit website by clicking here

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Canadian Fuel Cell Sector On Fire - By Eric Denhoff

February 01, 2016
Canadian Fuel Cell Sector On Fire - By Eric Denhoff

Canada’s top fuel cell companies are selling fuel cells like hot cakes over the past few months, as worldwide interest in hydrogen fuel cells ramps up.

Hydrogenics, the Ontario-based fuel cell and electrolyser manufacturer, was rolling along nicely last year delivering more than 30 fuel cell systems to China for buses and other vehicles, when it announced late in 2015 an order of 2,000 fuel cell systems and infrastructure for Chinese companies. The order—which over 5 years could be worth up to $100 million—followed closely on the heels of a major announcement with partner Alstom to supply fuel cells for France for commuter trains, a project expected to bring Hydrogenics more than $75 million in revenue. In addition, Hydrogenics has been selling electrolyser and fuelling station infrastructure, along with multi-megawatt Power-to-Gas installations, everywhere from Germany to Scotland to Honolulu, capitalizing on the renewed interest in storage from major wind producers and utilities.

Meanwhile, Ballard Power Systems has been on a roll, itself opening new markets in China and making major announcements:

  • $12 million deal just announced to power commercial buses in China
  • Follow-up order from Nisshinbo for Ballard’s breakthrough catalyst technology
  • Fuel cell bus agreement with Kin Long United Automotive in China
  • Major fuel cell order from India for Backup Telecom, which may rise to 200 installations
  • $6 million deal in China for fuel cell powered trams
  • $17 million deal in China for 300 fuel cell buses

So, Canadian fuel cell companies will be powering up to 2,300 fuel cell buses in China alone, along with commuter trams in China and commuter trains in France. Canadian companies are also at the forefront of installing new fuelling stations around the world—Hydrogenics in Scotland, H-TEC of Vancouver in California and Powertech Labs involved in fuelling station installations as well.

Another positive sign has been the willingness of investors to take a hard look, and put up hard cash, into Canadian fuel cells companies. Ballard attracted $5 million from Nisshinbo, Hydrogenics completed a $15 million private placement. In addition, repeat orders for fuel cells for material handling, for Ballard through Plug Power and Hydrogenics though its expanding customer base, are showing that as fuel cell technologies become commercial, there is rapid market expansion and acceptance.

Canada also remains a hotbed of research and development, with Mercedes focused on its high-speed Vancouver fuel cell manufacturing plant, AFCC (Mercedes and Ford) continuing their work in Vancouver and agencies like UBC, SFU, NRC and others continuing work on fuel cells.

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Green Leaders from Around the World Gather in Korea for Hyundai's First Green Leaders Meeting on Fuel Cell Technology

September 20, 2015
Green Leaders from Around the World Gather in Korea for Hyundai's First Green Leaders Meeting on Fuel Cell Technology

Leaders from government, industry and non-governmental organizations are arriving today in Seoul, Korea for the first Hyundai Green Leaders meeting focusing on fuel cell technology. Arriving today from Denmark, Germany, France, Australia, Canada and around the world, green leaders will get an eyeful of Hyundai's fuel cell technology innovations.

Hyundai, like Canada,  is a world leader in fuel cell technology.

They have invested heavily to overcome price, technology and consumer acceptance challenges and now are rolling out Fuel Cell Vehicles around the world, including Canada, where Hyundai's launch of the first-ever commercially available Fuel Cell Vehicle, the Hyundai Tucson, launched earlier this year in Vancouver.

Green Leaders invited here today will be getting the full story of Hyundai's new fuel cell technology advances, but we already know that Hyundai Motors Chairman Chung Mong Koo has invested heavily in the technology and personally driven executives and management at Hyundai to pursue the hydrogen fuel cell car dream.

Canada's relationship with Korea is a strong relationship, and in recent years, the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, with terrific assistance from both the Government of Canada and Government of B.C., has made great strides in deepening the relationship with Hyundai around fuel cell vehicles.In the world of rolling out availability of fuel cell vehicles, countries like Canada are pushing automakers from around the world who are now producing fuel cell vehicles to deploy them in Canada.

Of course, there is a challenge.

The automakers need to know there are fuelling stations for the cars they wish to deploy; Fuelling stations need to know there will be enough fuel cell vehicles deployed to warrant making the capital investments in new hydrogen fuelling stations.

So, CHFCA began meeting more than two years ago with senior Hyundai officials, including B.K.Ahn, a senior Hyundai manager in charge of the fuel cell program.

With the BC government and Canadian government's assistance, we met in Korea and in Vancouver with Hyundai officials, and took them through the fascinating story of British Columbia and Canada's advances in fuel cell technology, our significant experience with fueling stations for FCV's and our desire to partner with Hyundai to roll out commercial availability of FCV's in Canada.

At the same time, we met with other OEMs from around Asia and Europe, plus the U.S., to push for more vehicles for Canada.

Canada, we told them all, has the experience---at peak, we were operating a half dozen fuelling stations in Canada--older, slower-filling models--, we had fleet management experience gained with demonstration Ford Focus vehicles and New Flyer buses; and we have government support for the sector---up and down, in and out, but nonetheless consistent support from government at some level over decades.

And Hyundai listened.

Not only did they listen, but they started to work aggressively with us towards the commercial launch of the Tucson FCV into Canada, at the same time they were deploying FCV's in California, Europe and Asia.

When Hyundai rolled out commercially available Tucson FCV's in the Vancouver area, they were overwhelmed with more than 300 applicants looking to lease the zero-emission suv's, and even more pleasantly surprised when a recent poll highlighted that 75% of Canadians were interested in zero emission, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Now, the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association has just issued a new Request for Proposals for Vancouver's next, 700-bar fuelling station for FCV's, and is working closely with the B.C. Government, Hyundai and other OEMs to ensure a new fuelling station arrives in 2016, and further planning is executed for additional stations.

Canadian fuelling station technology is significant, with firms like Hydrogenics and HTEC having worldwide experience in developing new fuelling stations for hydrogen vehicles. In fact, Canadian firms are now working on fuelling stations in California, and have supplied expertise to Germany and elsewhere.

Watch this space closely for more updates on Hyundai's work in Canada, lead by Canadian Hyundai President Don Romano, and CHFCA's efforts to increase fuelling staton capacity. The Canadian Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, Chaired by HTEC's Colin Armstrong, and with support of OEMs, governments and industry, is working now to create plans for additonal infrastructure across Canada.

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