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Press Release

ElringKlinger to supply 68 fuel cell short stacks to research consortium

To underpin the revision required to the ISO standard for the quality of hydrogen dispensed at fueling stations, ElringKlinger will be supplying a total of 68 fuel cell short stacks by the end of 2022 to a research consortium made up of several leading institutes in Germany. The stacks are to be used as part of a three-year research project at the ZSW's testing facilities in Ulm.

The fuel cell will play a key role in the transformation of mobility. Estimates suggest that, by 2030, more than 5 million fuel cell vehicles around the globe will need filling with hydrogen. There are plans to build 400 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025 in Germany alone.

To deliver the underlying data on which to base a revision of the ISO standard governing the quality of the hydrogen dispensed at these stations, Duisburg-based Zentrum für BrennstoffzellenTechnik GmbH (ZBT) is coordinating the "H2Fuel" research project. This involves deploying fuel cell stacks at testing facilities run by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). As part of the project, which is funded by the German government via the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW), ZBT is partnering with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, the ZSW in Ulm, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH in Ottobrunn, and the Institute for Physical Chemistry at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Mercedes-Benz FuelCell, Toyota, BMW, and Ford are also on board as associate partners.

To enable the project to come to fruition, ElringKlinger AG will be supplying a total of 68 fuel cell short stacks to the research consortium by the end of 2022. The stacks will be put through their paces at the ZSW's testing facilities in Ulm over a three-year period. Short stacks have only a small number of cells, which are being designed to have a lower power output than usual for the purpose of the tests. The contract also covers membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), where the electrochemical reaction takes place. The first stacks will be delivered as early as the beginning of 2021.

Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, commented: "For us, the fact that ElringKlinger's fuel cell stacks have been chosen to deliver the underlying scientific data that will inform everyday use is further proof of how pioneering our best-in-class technology really is. We'll be delighted if our stacks help to gain valuable insights into hydrogen quality in fueling stations as part of this project."

Over the course of the tests, the "H2Fuel" project is planning to expose the stacks to various stress situations relating to hydrogen use in order to establish new technically and economically appropriate limits for hydrogen quality. This is because the quality requirements that the hydrogen to be used has to meet will have a material impact on how much it will cost and how long the fuel cells will last. For this reason, the project is also aiming to quantify how contaminants in the hydrogen could potentially impact on the performance and service life of the MEA and to use this as a basis for determining requirements for hydrogen purity. Building on the research findings obtained from "H2Fuel," the intention is for Germany's network of hydrogen fueling stations to play a pioneering role in the application of sound, practicable standards.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger continues to gear itself up for the future

As part of its ongoing transformation, ElringKlinger AG has created a new "Metal Sealing Systems & Drivetrain Components" business unit, which pools the expertise of two former units - Cylinder-head Gaskets and Specialty Gaskets. As the new unit offers product solutions for all drive types, the Group is also continuing to position itself for the future in a targeted way

The transformation of the mobility sector is progressing apace. Although many of the new vehicles manufactured every year around the world are still being fitted with combustion engines, car makers are launching more and more hybrid and full-electric models onto the market in order to combat climate change and cut CO2 emissions in the mobility sector for the long term. ElringKlinger AG is playing a decisive role in shaping this trend with its pioneering battery and fuel cell technologies.

As part of this transformation process, the Group has now set up a new "Metal Sealing Systems & Drivetrain Components" business unit. It combines the expertise of two former units - Cylinder-head Gaskets and Specialty Gaskets - and brings their products together under one new roof.

Reiner Drews, COO of ElringKlinger AG, commented: "In taking this organizational step, not only are we pooling our skills, we are also giving the unit a new focus: besides our tried-and-tested gasket solutions for combustion engines, we will also be expanding our product range further. In the future, we will also offer solutions that cover metallic gasket systems and precision stamping and forming components for all drive types. In so doing, we are continuing purposefully along our journey toward getting the Group well placed for the mobility of the future."

The new unit's product range includes conventional gaskets such as cylinder-head and turbocharger gaskets as well as innovative components for alternative drive types. The disk carrier, which has been in series production for a German sports car manufacturer's full-electric vehicle since 2019, exemplifies the diversity of products offered by the new business unit. Unlike a conventional gasket, it transfers and transmits the drive torque from the electric motor to the rear axle. To do its job properly, the disk carrier has to withstand very high mechanical stresses and rotational speeds and work efficiently and precisely. As well as unbeatable accuracy and functional reliability, the disk carrier also brings the added benefit of being much more lightweight thanks to its hybrid design - a mixture of forgings and sheet-metal-formed components. It is with products like these that ElringKlinger is delivering technically sophisticated solutions tailored to specific requirements, including for the mobility of the future.

The new business unit is headed up by Wojtek Kolasinski, who was previously in charge of the Specialty Gaskets unit. Gunnar Deichmann, former Head of the Cylinder-head Gaskets unit, is assuming responsibility for the Battery Technology unit. He is replacing Armin Diez, who will be devoting his full attention to his role as Head of the Fuel Cell Technology unit in the future. The change to the organizational structure took effect on October 1, 2020.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger and VDL conclude fuel cell partnership

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), Eindhoven (Netherlands), November 12, 2020 +++ ElringKlinger AG and the Dutch vehicle manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach BV have agreed on a strategic partnership within the area of fuel cell technology. The cooperation agreement provides for the development and industrialization of fuel cell stacks and systems for mobile and stationary applications.

Within this partnership, ElringKlinger AG will focus on the customer-specific development and production of fuel cell stacks. VDL will be primarily responsible for system integration and testing under real conditions. Another cooperation partner is ElringKlinger Fuelcell Systems Austria GmbH (EKAT), which has expertise within the area of complete fuel cell systems. Plastic Omnium will also bundle its know-how, once EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, the joint venture in fuell cell stacks between ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium, is created and the acquisition of ElringKlinger's Austrian subsidiary EKAT is completed in early 2021.

The declared aim of the partnership is to bring the developed fuel cell systems to production maturity in the coming year. These will be used in mobile and stationary applications such as gensets, hybrid vehicles or vehicles with range extender. The cooperation agreement is therefore initially limited until 2021. Subsequently, concrete customer projects are already planned and under negotiation, which are to be signed before the cooperation agreement expires.

"With this cooperation, we are not only intensifying our collaboration with VDL in fuel cell technology, but also creating the basis for further developing hydrogen-based drive technologies for heavy duty mobility. Together with our contractual partner, we are working towards establishing the fuel cell as a pioneering drive technology within the commercial vehicle sector over the coming years," commented Armin Diez, Vice President Fuel Cell at ElringKlinger AG.

Henk Coppens, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach BV, said: "As a frontrunner in the field of sustainable mobility solutions, VDL Bus & Coach strongly believes that hydrogen will become an important and strategic part of our portfolio. VDL's motto is 'strength through cooperation' and I am pleased that we can fulfill this motto for the subject of hydrogen with this cooperation with ElringKlinger."

Fuel cell technology at ElringKlinger
ElringKlinger has been active within the area of fuel cell technology for around 20 years and serves the market as both a component and a system supplier. The Group's focus is on low-temperature fuel cells (PEMFC). Combining the benefits of high power density and highly dynamic power supply, PEMFC stacks are the perfect choice for mobile applications and - in conjunction with a decentralized supply of hydrogen - they are already a viable option for today's mobility needs.

ElringKlinger PEMFC stacks designed for integration into customer systems are available with an electrical output of 10 to over 200 kWel. Stacks with peripheral components and system functionalities integrated into the end plate module are also available as an option. These features enable considerable simplification and cost reduction with regard to the fuel cell system. They are suitable for use in both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles such as forklifts as well as buses and trucks.

Alongside its proprietary fuel cell stacks, ElringKlinger is acknowledged in particular for its innovative fuel cell components, including patented designs for metallic bipolar plates and plastic media modules that complement the product range.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger with strong cash flow in third quarter of 2020

  • Operating free cash flow of EUR 78.6 million in third quarter - and EUR 102.3 million in first nine months - means further reduction of net debt
  • Revenue down 11.7% year on year at EUR 381 million in third quarter, impacted in part by currency effects; revenue declines by 21.2% to EUR 1,030 million in first nine months
  • EBIT margin up year on year at 5.0% in third quarter, but down markedly at 0.2% in first nine months
  • Outlook (before exceptional factors) reaffirmed within challenging market environment


Dettingen/Erms (Germany), November 10, 2020 +++ The general recovery seen throughout the automobile markets in the third quarter was also reflected in the quarterly results of ElringKlinger AG. Although revenue was still 11.7% down on the prior-year figure, at EUR 381.2 million, it was up substantially - by EUR 129 million - on revenue generated in the second quarter. Currency effects played a tangible role during the third quarter: adjusted for the effects of exchange rate movements and M&A activities, revenue fell by EUR 32.4 million or 7.5% year on year. Thus, the change in revenue corresponded to the performance of the European market as a whole. At a global level, the decline in automobile production was just 3.5% due to the strong performance of China.

Recovery in incoming orders
ElringKlinger's situation with regard to orders also improved markedly: while order intake had fallen sharply in the second quarter of 2020, it actually exceeded the prior-year figure of EUR 437.6 million in the period from July to September 2020 (adjusted for currencies) - standing at EUR 458.7 million. This corresponds to growth of 4.8%. Excluding the comparatively strong effects of currency translation, this period saw a decline of 3.2%, pushing the figure down to EUR 423.6 million. Based on the assumption of stable exchange rates, order backlog - at EUR 1,020.7 million as of September 30, 2020 - was close to its prior-year level of EUR 1,068.7 million. Factoring in currency movements, order backlog amounted to EUR 971.8 million, which represents a decline of 9.1%.

EBIT in positive territory after first nine months despite COVID-19 pandemic
The recovery in business was also reflected in earnings: In the third quarter, ElringKlinger recorded consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 18.9 million, which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 5.0%. This was attributable, among other factors, to the sustained efficacy of a global program implemented by the Group at the beginning of 2019 in order to raise efficiency levels. In this context, the Group managed to make cost savings of around EUR 12 million compared to the same quarter a year ago. Due to this performance, Group EBIT for the first nine months was also within positive territory again at EUR 2.5 million.

As Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, pointed out: "Our global program aimed at raising efficiency levels is clearly taking effect: alongside the noticeable upturn in our EBIT margin, we also achieved improvements with regard to our other key financial indicators. Overall, the results of the third quarter are indeed encouraging, given the current business climate. The decisive factor for the rest of the 2020 financial year will now be the extent to which the second wave of infection impacts on the markets and economic activity."

Operating free cash flow well within positive territory
Alongside the disciplined approach to investment spending, the Group also continued to pursue its measures aimed at optimizing working capital. Inventories were scaled back by EUR 69 million in the last twelve months, while trade receivables were reduced by EUR 39 million. Net working capital improved from EUR 487 million to EUR 407 million. Among other factors, this helped to lift operating free cash flow from EUR -2.2 million in the first and EUR 25.8 million in the second quarter to EUR 78.6 million in the third quarter. This is close to the high level recorded after nine months in the previous year. As a result, net debt was scaled back from EUR 682 million as of September 30, 2019, to EUR 512 million at the end of the first nine months of 2020. This consistent improvement becomes even more apparent when comparing the current level with the starting point of the efficiency program as of the first quarter of 2019: since then, the Group has reduced its net financial liabilities by more than EUR 280 million.

Assessment of full annual period still hampered by second wave of infection
The market situation as a whole remains very difficult to assess. Following a rapid recovery in China, dynamic developments in North America, and the steady improvement in Europe, the coronavirus pandemic is again dominating events. Europe and North America, in particular, are being enveloped by a second wave of infection. Many states have again stepped up their protective measures and in some cases restricted economic activity, while making every effort to avoid complete lockdowns similar to those seen during the spring. Regionally, stricter measures, including temporary closures, cannot be ruled out. The repercussions of such measures will also be felt throughout the car markets. Against this backdrop, it is indeed possible that recovery may be interrupted.

Outlook (before exceptional factors) confirmed
Given the uncertainties outlined above, it is still not possible to make a sufficiently reliable estimate of developments in the fourth quarter and thus the remainder of the year. As regards fiscal 2020 as a whole, ElringKlinger still anticipates that the change in revenue in organic terms will be slightly better than the figure relating to global automobile production. In this context, experts from the industry institute IHS currently estimate a year-on-year decline of 18% in production output for the annual period as a whole.

In terms of earnings, the Group is again anticipating an EBIT margin that is visibly lower than in the previous year (3.5%). This does not include potential compensation in the low to mid double-digit million euro range from the strategic partnership with Airbus. This agreement is scheduled to be closed in the course of this year.

Key financials for the third quarter and first nine months of 2020

in EUR m9M
∆ abs.∆ rel.Q3
∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake971.11,355.7-384.6-28.4%423.6437.6-14.0-3.2%
Order backlog971.81,068.7-96.9-9.1%971.81,068.7-96.9-9.1%
of which currency  -22.5-1.7%  -17.1-4.0%
of which M&A  -3.4-0.3%  -1.2-0.3%
of which organic  -251.6-19.3%  -32.4-7.5%
EBIT margin (in %)0.22.8-2.6PP-5.04.7+0.3PP-
Net finance cost-25.9-14.7-11.2--9.8-5.0-4.8-
Profit before taxes-23.422.2-45.6>-100%9.215.3-6.1-39.9%
Taxes on income7.724.8-17.1-69.0%6.38.2-1.9-23.2%
Net income (after non-controlling interests)-30.1-3.4-26.7>-100%3.46.7-3.3-49.3%
Earnings per share (in EUR)-0.47-0.05-0.42>-100%0.050.11-0.06-54.5%
Investments (in PPE and investment property)37.974.9-37.0-49.4%15.125.4-10.3-40.6%
Operating free cash flow102.3110.1-7.8-7.1%78.630.8+47.8>+100 %
Net working capital407.3487.0-79.7-16.4%    
Equity ratio (in %)41.040.7+0.3PP-    
Net financial liabilities512.4681.5-169.1-24.8%    
Employees (as of Sep 30)9,77010,492-722-6.9%    
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Press Release

ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium partner in fuel cell technology to accelerate the development of hydrogen mobility

  • Creation of EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, a leading joint venture for development and mass production of fuel cell stacks for CO2-neutral mobility
  • ElringKlinger will contribute its fuel cell business and know-how and Plastic Omnium will bring additional development capacity to accelerate growth
  • ElringKlinger will hold 60%, Plastic Omnium 40% of the new company
  • Plastic Omnium acquires ElringKlinger's Austrian subsidiary, specialized in integrated hydrogen systems, to complement its global hydrogen strategy


Dettingen/Paris, October 28, 2020 +++ Hydrogen will play a major role in tomorrow's sustainable mobility. Convinced of the promising future of this zero emission technology, ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium, two automotive supplier leaders in their respective business areas, today agreed to take hydrogen-based fuel cell technology to the next level. To fulfil this objective, they will create EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, a joint venture dedicated to fuel cell stack development, production and commercialization. EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies will offer its product portfolio to a broad range of customers including hydrogen systems integrators.

EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies will be owned 60% by ElringKlinger and 40% by Plastic Omnium. ElringKlinger will bring all of its assets related to fuel cells stacks, developed over more than 20 years. Assets include more than 150 employees, more than 150 patents, R&D and know-how, its fuel cell components business, and several high power density fuel cell stack platforms already marketed and manufactured at a facility located in Dettingen/Erms (Baden-Württemberg), where the joint venture will also be headquartered. The annual production capacity of initially up to 10,000 units in the joint venture will be progressively extended according to the order book.

Plastic Omnium will invest €100 million in the new company to support the acceleration of innovation, strongly develop the commercial pipeline and increase production capacities. The world leader in energy storage and emission reduction solutions will also contribute to the development of the JV through its global customer portfolio, its worldwide presence and its technological expertise in hydrogen storage and systems.

The CEOs of the two companies, Laurent Favre and Dr. Stefan Wolf, stated: "Plastic Omnium and ElringKlinger have been strongly investing over the years to develop their respective expertise in hydrogen technology. Both stock-listed with a family as anchor shareholder and sharing the same values, we are jointly building a leader in the development, design, production and marketing of fuel cell stacks and components for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, buses, trucks and other mobility applications. We aim to unlock the mass market potential for hydrogen and contribute to CO2-neutral mobility."

This industrial and technological partnership will allow EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies to develop further and faster with high ambitions. The 2030 market, backed by increasing government support, is currently estimated at annual production of between at least 2 and 3 million on-road vehicles. In particular, France and Germany recently announced investments of €7 billion and €9 billion respectively in hydrogen development. The creation of EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies is a demonstration of French and German cooperation and will be an important milestone in the development of hydrogen technologies to accelerate the ecological transition and establishment of a dedicated industrial sector that is competitive at a global level.

By 2030, EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies aims to reach a market share of 10 to 15% in the fuel cell technology business, representing revenues between €700 million and €1 billion. This target includes a global industrial footprint and is based on today's ability of a serial production of fuel stacks according to automotive standards.

The two partners today also signed an agreement on the acquisition by Plastic Omnium of ElringKlinger Fuelcell Systems Austria GmbH (EKAT), an Austrian subsidiary of ElringKlinger specialized in integrated hydrogen systems, for an enterprise value of €15 million. This acquisition strengthens Plastic Omnium's expertise in energy management and control in hydrogen systems ("balance of plant").

The two agreements are being submitted to the competition authorities and are subject to the usual legal requirements. They should be closed in Q1 2021.

Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger, commented: "ElringKlinger has gained strong expertise in fuel cell technology over the past 20 years. Our stacks offer a high power density and have proven their capabilities even under adverse conditions. Now we are ready to leap forward into the age of hydrogen. Together with our partner Plastic Omnium, we will leverage our engineering and industrialization know-how to provide a portfolio of cost-competitive fuel cell solutions that match both our customers' high-performance needs and reliability requirements."

Laurent Favre, CEO of Plastic Omnium, said: "We are very pleased about this strategic alliance with ElringKlinger. It complements our positioning in the entire hydrogen value chain, bringing fuel cell stacks and components to large-scale production with EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and reinforces our expertise in hydrogen systems with EKAT. This is for us another major step toward hydrogen mobility, where we aim to be a world leader."

All information regarding the virtual press conference on the joint venture 'EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies' is available at

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