Aim-listed hydrogen technology developer AFC Energy has entered into a strategic partnership with technology group ABB regarding the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems.
ABB is investing £3.25-million into AFC Energy, as a commitment to the international e-mobility market to set new standards in zero-emission high-power EV charging.
The investment follows the signing of commercial and product development agreements between the companies in December last year, which focused on the design and engineering of EV charging systems powered by AFC Energy fuel cells.
Since then, the companies have been working constructively towards delivery of an integrated charging system in the second half of this year and are already engaging with prospective customers on the new product range.
ABB’s investment will contribute towards the prototyping, engineering, scale up in production capacity and growth across high-power e-mobility applications to meet a growing pipeline of customers in this fast-growing sector.
Meanwhile, the companies also signed a new development agreement to test, design and integrate AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell technology into ABB’s data centre system portfolio to provide a zero-emission, turnkey power solution for the growing number of current and prospective hyperscale data centres.
While hydrogen-based fuel cells in data centre demonstrations is not new, positioning them as a commercially viable option could be enabled earlier through adoption of AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell solution, representing an important step in the decarbonation of data centres.
Within this development agreement, the two companies will partner in the assessment of data centre power design principles and system operability, reviewing interfaces between fuel cells, energy storage, electrical equipment, switchgear and control infrastructure.
It is expected that, once demonstrated, the alkaline fuel cell system will form an integral part of the portfolio of technologies available to ABB in meeting its data centre customer requirements and, therefore, provides a strong route to market for AFC Energy’s fuel cell platform in this sector.
AFC Energy is, meanwhile, also undertaking an accelerated bookbuild process to raise about £35-million through the issue of about 54-million new ordinary shares at a price of 64.5p apiece.
The fundraising shares, assuming full take-up, will represent about 7.4% of the company’s enlarged issued share capital.
The net proceeds of the fundraising will be used to support continued product development of AFC Energy and ABB’s next generation of high-power sustainable EV charging solutions; the development of new power solutions using AFC’s alkaline fuel cell technology platform, including around data centres; and the development of AFC Energy’s manufacturing capacity to address future growth.