Commercial Vehicles

Hyzon is taking over Orten from Germany


The US manufacturer of fuel cell commercial vehicles Hyzon Motors is acquiring the German company Orten, including conversion specialist Orten Electric Trucks. The purchase brings three production facilities and a team of over 80 employees under the Hyzon umbrella.

+ + Kindly see our update below + +

The acquisition of Orten Betriebs GmbH and its subsidiaries, as well as Orten Electric Trucks GmbH, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Hyzon. With the deal, the international company with headquarters in the US, Netherlands and Australia says it wants to “establish an operational footprint and customer access in attractive German Zero Emission truck market, including expansion of electrification and powertrain kit expertise & assembly capacity”.

Orten was founded in 1925 as a blacksmith’s shop, and the Bernkastel-Kues-based company says it has become one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of innovative body solutions – primarily with customers in the beverage industry. In addition, with the conversion business from diesel to electric drives, another mainstay was built up for the third-generation family-run company.

Up to 26 tonnes BEV trucks from Orten, above that FCEVs from Hyzon

Hyzon’s takeover is also about, but not limited to, electric know-how. “ORTEN’s employees are experienced in electrification, retrofitting, and bodybuilding, all critical elements of Hyzon’s FCEV build process. Additionally, ORTEN management has extensive, long-standing customer relationships across Germany,” the company wrote.

Nevertheless, Hyzon Motors, which has focused primarily on heavy trucks thus far, will be able to offer their customers a broader range with Orten’s powertrain kits: Vehicles up to 26 tonnes can be converted to a battery-electric powertrain with Orten’s technology, while Hyzon intends to serve the needs of medium and heavy-duty trucks with its own fuel cell vehicles.

“We are proud to grow our team and our reach through such an esteemed and innovative provider of solutions in German logistics,” said Craig Knight, CEO of Hyzon Motors. “We look forward to working with the ORTEN team to accelerate Germany’s move to zero emissions through hydrogen fuel cell technology, and to deepen the customer relationships ORTEN has in the beverage industry to include the potential of Hyzon FCEVs.”

“Looking back on a history of nearly 100 years of bringing innovative solutions to our commercial and municipal customers, we are happy and proud to join forces with Hyzon to build a better future,” said Robert Orten, long-time owner and CEO. “Being a first mover in the field of battery electric trucks, we now have the opportunity to scale up our proprietary electrification and body building know-how. I would like to express my gratitude to my employees, customers and suppliers and look forward to a successful cooperation with Hyzon.”

Hyzon could also benefit from Orten’s experience in another area: Just in May, Hyzon announced a repower programme to convert existing diesel trucks to fuel cell powertrains. Orten Electric Trucks specialises in battery-electric conversions, but its know-how in integrating them into existing chassis can also be used with the US trucks.

Hyzon Motors has only been publicly active since 2020. The company is based in Rochester in the US state of New York and is closely associated with the fuel cell manufacturer Horizon Fuel Cell based in Singapore. Shortly afterwards, the company opened its European headquarters in Groningen, the Netherlands, where the European plant is now also located – the first vehicles were delivered in the summer of 2021.

Update 10 October 2022:

Orten and Hyzon Motors have decided not to go through with the takeover of the German body and conversion specialist by the US manufacturer of fuel cell commercial vehicles announced in June. Orten will now remain in family ownership while the two companies are still planning to cooperate. Orten says that both companies plan to cooperate closely on hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) powered commercial vehicles. This also includes the production of so-called conversion kits and the creation of corresponding assembly capacities for conversions. Hyzon Motors have recently experienced some difficulties that, among other things, prompted a change of CEO., update: (pdf in German)


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