Audi buys Ballard fuel cell patents for $80 million

VW Group Gets Access To Canadian Hydrogen Technology

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While some auto companies (e.g., Toyota and Hyundai) are giving away some hydrogen fuel cell patents, others are paying a pretty penny to gain access to the H2 tech. Audi announced today that it has purchased a suite of fuel-cell patent from Ballard Power Systems. The deal between Volkswagen Group and the Canadian fuel cell pioneer is worth over $80 million US. Unsurprisingly, the value of Ballard's stock shot up about a dollar (to $2.61 as of this writing) on the announcement.

VW and Ballard will also extend their development agreement, originally scheduled to end in 2017, to March 2019, and possibly another two years after that. Thus far, the deal – which revolves around the "design and manufacture of next-generation fuel cell stacks" for VW's H2 demonstration program – and Ballard says it is a leader in "critical areas of fuel cell product design – including the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), plate and stack components – along with certain testing and integration work."

At the LA Auto Show last fall, VW showed off a Golf SportWagen and a Passat with a hydrogen hybrid HyMotion powertrain as well as a Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro.

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Audi buys fuel-cell patents from Ballard Power Systems

Development agreement with Ballard extended until 2019
Audi's Head of Development Prof. Hackenberg: "The entire VW Group will use these patents."

Ingolstadt/Burnaby, February 11, 2015 – AUDI AG has acquired a package of patents relating to fuel-cell technology from Ballard Power Systems Inc. In addition, the Volkswagen Group has extended its cooperation with the Canadian clean energy company until 2019.

The purchase of these patents will provide new impetus for the development of fuel-cell drive systems at Audi, VW and the Volkswagen Group. As explained by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for

Technical Development at AUDI AG and responsible for the steering of the development departments of all brands in the VW Group: "Audi is acquiring these strategically important patents for the entire group and will make them available to all the brands. In this way, we are securing crucial expertise that will provide new impetus for the further development of this technology."

Ballard Power Systems Inc. is based in Burnaby, Canada, and is one of the world's leading companies in the technology of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Ballard provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel-cell programs.

VW HyMotion Fuel Cell Technology Explained

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