Voith & Weifu join forces on H2 fuel cell systems

German technology company Voith has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese Weifu Group, including the establishment of two joint ventures to focus on hydrogen fuel cell systems.

Image: Voith

With the establishment of two new joint ventures, Voith and Weifu Group intend to collaborate on the research, development, production and application of hydrogen storage systems for mobility applications.

One of the joint ventures is designed for the global market (excluding China) in which Voith is the controlling majority shareholder with Voith HySTech at the Garching site near Munich, Germany. Voith founded the subsidiary to pool its expertise in hydrogen storage systems with a focus on heavy-duty vehicles. Voith has developed a ready-to-install Plug & Drive H2 storage system for heavy-duty vehicles.

The second joint venture for the Chinese market is majority-owned by Weifu. For Voith, Weifu is the ideal complementary partner because it brings the “relevant know-how in the area of scaling automotive applications and supply chains as well as offering important access to the Chinese market.”

According to Voith, the new agreement with Weifu was concluded with the help of the German company Bosch, which has been researching the development of hydrogen fuel cells in collaboration with Weifu since the beginning of 2022. Bosch also holds strategic shares in Weifu.

Toralf Haag, CEO of Voith Group, explained that “Through the cooperation with the Weifu Group, we can jointly leverage the great potential of the hydrogen market. Both companies are pioneers in the field of hydrogen-powered systems for mobility applications and complement each other perfectly.”

Both companies are legacy companies. Voith is one of Europe’s largest family-owned companies, founded in the rapid expansion of Germany’s Industrial Revolution in 1867. Weifu was founded in 1958 and, after mainly manufacturing fuel vehicle systems such as fuel injection, exhaust after treatment and engine air intake the company has been striving to become a leading supplier of core components for hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers. As Voith notes in announcing the agreement, Weifu already has components for the hydrogen economy in its existing portfolio.

Voith states, “Due to the high market dynamics and the need for investment, a partnership is the logical next step for Voith to further accelerate developments in the field of hydrogen and to leverage the great market potential.”



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