Hyzon Motors to build US’ biggest fuel cell material production unit

Picks Chicago Area as location for High-Volume Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) Production Line


HyzonHyzon Motors Inc has announced plans to build the largest fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) production line for commercial vehicles.

According to the leading supplier of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered heavy vehicles, the facility will come up in the United States at its new Hyzon Innovation Center located in Bolingbrook, Illinois, just outside of Chicago.

As announced earlier, Hyzon is planning to go public through a merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation, which is a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The combination is likely to close in the second quarter of 2021.

The Hyzon Innovation Center is expected to produce enough MEAs to cover the production needs for up to 12,000 hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks every year.

It is to be noted that MEA is the critical component of a fuel cell and accounts for about 70 per cent of the cost of a fuel cell stack.

At present, MEAs are made in Europe, Japan, Canada, Korea and China at commercial scale. Smaller scale MEA production in the US has so far been a supply and cost bottleneck for US fuel cell vehicle production.

The unit is likely to start production of MEAs in the fourth quarter of 2021, and is planned to open with 28,000 square feet of manufacturing space, before expanding in a second phase to 80,000 square feet.

According to George Gu, Chairman and Co-Founder of Hyzon, , “The new Hyzon Innovation Center is essential to our strategy to expand the US hydrogen supply chain, reduce fuel cell costs for commercialization, and create local jobs.”

He added: “We chose the greater Chicago area due to its top-tier universities, national labs, equipment companies and manufacturers, and a large pool of talent for recruiting a highly-skilled workforce.

We are looking forward to empowering this unique ecosystem so that we can further accelerate the energy transition and decarbonize heavy road transport.”

Craig Knight, Co-Founder and CEO of Hyzon, said, “We are excited about our plans to open the first high-volume MEA production line for hydrogen fuel cells in the US, which we anticipate will enable us to rapidly scale up the production of our fuel cells and deliver up to 12,000 Hyzon zero-emission heavy vehicles each year.

We see a substantial uptake in Europe already, and anticipate North America will soon follow suit on this decarbonization journey for heavy transport.”

50 full-time positions

Hyzon expects to eventually fill up to 50 full-time positions at this production facility.

The Hyzon Innovation Center will also conduct research and development on materials for electrolyzers, solid-state batteries, fuel cells, autonomous driving technologies, advanced e-drive systems and green hydrogen production technologies.

Apart from the Hyzon Innovation Center outside Chicago, Hyzon has two facilities in Rochester, New York. While one serves as a fuel cell testing facility and the other as its United States headquarters, vehicle integration center and fuel cell engine production facility.

(With inputs from Automotive Lead Research Team)

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