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Press Release

IAA Mobility 2021: EKPO presents several new generation fuel cell stack platforms

Dettingen/Erms, Munich (Germany), September 2, 2021 +++ EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO), the joint venture between ElringKlinger AG and Plastic Omnium, will present various next-generation fuel cell stack platforms featuring design and performance enhancements at IAA Mobility 2021. The full-service supplier for fuel cell stacks and components used in passenger cars, as well as light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses, is thus underlining its industrialization expertise.

A total of three different stack platforms will be on display for the trade public at the EKPO booth (Hall B3, Booth B21). The NM5-EVO PEM stack module is launched in series production this year and has integrated system functionalities. With an output of up to 76 kWel (at 2,5 bar operating pressure) it is suited for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. A driving vehicle (LCV) integrating an NM5 EVO will be presented at the show by EKPO and its partners AEDS and Quantron.

The NM12 TWIN PEM stack module, with 598 cells (2x299 cells) based on metallic bipolar plates, is significantly larger. With an electrical output of up to 205 kWel, the plug-in module is primarily aimed at heavy-duty commercial applications: trucks, rail and marine.

"In terms of absolute power and power density, the stacks we will exhibit at IAA Mobility in Munich are absolute market benchmark, setting international standards," says Julien Etienne, CCO of EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies.

Another highlight is installed in the demonstrator vehicle on ElringKlinger’s booth. The 359-cell NM12 SINGLE PEM stack module, based on metallic bipolar plates with an electrical output of up to 123 kWel will address applications with high power requirements (>100kW) in the automotive sectors. Boasting a power density above 6kW/L, this platform addresses the packaging challenges of full power passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

"We trust our fuel cell products answer best the current market needs. This and the fact we are already able to produce high volumes of stack assemblies and components – such as bipolar plates or media module assemblies – allowed us to secure major orders since the beginning of the year. We are looking forward to IAA Mobility 2021 as the first real world opportunity to showcase EKPO’s first class technology and to have fruitful exchanges with our visitors," says Julien Etienne.

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EKPO at IAA Mobility 2021
Hall B3, Booth B21

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Press Release

IAA Mobility 2021: ElringKlinger underscores open-minded approach to technology

Dettingen/Erms, Munich (Germany), September 1, 2021 +++ ElringKlinger's presence at the IAA Mobility 2021 will focus on solutions for all drive types. For example, the company will be showcasing product highlights from the fields of battery and fuel cell technology, some of which will be realistically presented in a demonstrator vehicle. But innovative solutions for the modern combustion engine will also be presented.

At the IAA Mobility, which will be held in Munich from September 7 to 12, 2021, internationally positioned automotive supplier ElringKlinger will be underscoring its open-minded approach to technology with a view to playing a significant role in shaping change within the automotive industry. "The changes taking place in our industry are gaining momentum and progressing at a considerable pace. ElringKlinger is in a prime position with regard to the electromobility megatrend, both in battery and fuel cell technology. We will be taking advantage of the largest global mobility platform to present our extensive portfolio, including internal combustion engines, to trade visitors from around the world," says Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. The company's exhibition stand (B21) is located in Hall B3.

Various products for zero-emission mobility will be installed in a demonstrator vehicle, showcasing the Group's first-class starting position offering solutions for current and future vehicle generations. Highlights at the booth include various fuel cell stack platforms from the EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies joint venture established with Plastic Omnium. "We underline our claim to be a full-service supplier for fuel cell stacks and components used in passenger cars, but also light commercial vehicles, trucks, and buses," explains Dr. Wolf.

Efficient energy storage is considered a key technology for electric vehicles. ElringKlinger offers components, modules as well as complete battery storage systems and will also be showcasing these at the IAA Mobility. ElringKlinger will also be showcasing its expertise in electric drive units (EDU) in Munich. Two EDUs are installed in the demonstrator vehicle, one each on the front and rear axles. "With production-ready solutions from the areas of battery technology and Drivetrain, we perfectly complement our portfolio for fuel cells and are therefore in the best possible position," said Dr. Wolf.

Lightweight products are used in vehicles regardless of the drive type. Among other things, the demonstrator vehicle features cockpit cross car beams and front-end beams, a hybrid sill and underbody shielding for battery systems.

Product innovations from the classic product portfolio for the modern combustion engine - for example thermal and acoustic shielding systems as well as cylinder-head gaskets and dynamic precision parts - complement the trade show presentation.


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ElringKlinger at IAA Mobility 2021
Hall B3, Booth B21

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Press Release

EKPO and ZSW realize an open development platform for industry

Dettingen/Erms, Ulm, August 27, 2021 +++ Science and industry are currently driving forward the industrial production of fuel cells for vehicles. To this end, the Research Factory for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (HyFaB) is being established at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in Ulm. Here, experts are developing the necessary prerequisites and processes for large-scale production. In cooperation with EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO), the ZSW is currently realizing a generic fuel cell stack as a pre-competitive and manufacturer-independent development platform. Its size, design and power density will correspond to the fuel cell systems currently used in the automotive sector. Its components should be available for research projects and for companies from mid-2022.

"Fuel cells were already on the verge of market launch twenty years ago. However, at that time they failed primarily due to the availability of hydrogen. This is now changing fundamentally with the European Green Deal and the German Hydrogen Strategy," says Prof. Dr. Markus Hölzle, ZSW board member and head of the Electrochemical Energy Technologies business unit in Ulm. Now the fuel cell must also be industrialized quickly so that it becomes available on the market in large quantities at low cost. That is the goal of the new ZSW project within HyFaB.

"The 'generic fuel cell stack' will create a kind of universal tool for the further technological development of the fuel cell. In addition, we can then provide medium-sized companies with components or entire fuel cells for their own product development," says Hölzle.

Pre-competitive offer to industry
The stack concept is designed for a maximum output of 150 kilowatts. This requires 500 individual cells, each with two metal bipolar plates, to build this generic fuel cell stack. The advantage of metal bipolar plates is that they can be manufactured using forming production processes and thus enable high volumes with short cycle times. However, the thin wall thicknesses of only a tenth of a millimeter at a length of over 40 centimeters per plate are challenging in terms of production technology.

The bipolar plates are crucial components of a fuel cell: On the two outer sides, the so-called cathode and anode, they ensure the even distribution of hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen. At the same time, the cooling water is conducted through the inside of the plates. This is achieved by means of extremely filigree channel and web geometries as well as a distribution and sealing concept. These structures are simulated and optimized using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

"Participation in this lighthouse project, the close contact with institutional research with the ZSW and the knowledge gained about series production processes as a result offers real added value for us. Above all, HyFaB's highly interesting network for fuel cell stack production, for example with the ZSW or even with the Fraunhofer Institute ISE in Freiburg with their decades of experience in fuel cell research, is enormously important for the automotive and industrial locations of Baden-Württemberg, Germany and Europe. The close cooperation with the plant manufacturers involved in HyFaB opens up exciting new opportunities for us," says EKPO CCO Julien Etienne.

The project is being funded by the Baden-Württemberg Automotive Industry Strategy Dialogue through the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management.

The HyFaB
In order to rapidly advance the mass production of fuel cells, the ZSW is establishing HyFaB at the Ulm site as an open industry platform to develop automated manufacturing and quality assurance processes, factory acceptance tests and commissioning of fuel cell stacks. HyFaB is open to partners from the automotive and fuel cell supplier industry as well as mechanical and plant engineering, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

HyFaB is a publicly funded project: the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics is supporting a new building with 3,300 square meters at the ZSW site in Ulm on Lise-Meitner-Strasse with 10.4 million euros. Construction work officially began on February 9, 2021. The German Federal Ministry of Transport has announced a further 30 million euros for industrial projects for production and process research. In addition to the ZSW, Fraunhofer ISE from Freiburg and the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) are also involved in the HyFaB project.

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Press Release

German government backs hydrogen - ElringKlinger on board with subsidiary EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies

  • German government selected 62 large-scale hydrogen projects, 12 of them from the mobility sector
  • Establishment of hydrogen technologies as a further step towards achieving climate neutrality
  • ElringKlinger submitted application for development and industrialization of a new generation of fuel cell stacks
  • Subsidiary EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies shall be responsible for realization

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), August 25, 2021 +++ The German government has recently made its selection to promote hydrogen technology as part of an "Important Project of Common European Interest" (IPCEI). ElringKlinger has applied to develop a new generation of fuel cell stacks for the commercial vehicle sector and has been pre-selected. The stacks will be used primarily in commercial vehicles, but also in buses and in maritime applications, on rail or as stationary units. In addition to development, series production of the innovative, high-performance fuel cell stacks is being targeted. Its subsidiary EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies shall be responsible for the realization of this project.

With this so-called hydrogen IPCEI, the German government is fully committed to developing hydrogen technology for mobility. Green hydrogen and fuel cells across all modes of transport are an important complement to battery-only vehicles, he said. This confirms ElringKlinger's view that both pure battery-electric drive and fuel cell technology represent decisive pillars for the future. Depending on the application, the most advantageous drive technology will be selected to make tomorrow's mobility climate-friendly.

The implementation of the IPCEI is part of the German government's National Hydrogen Strategy and aims to establish hydrogen technology competitively in Europe and especially in Germany. For Germany, the Federal government selected 62 out of 230 project outlines, 12 of which were from the mobility sector. The selected projects cover large parts of the hydrogen market's value chain. A total of more than EUR 8 billion will be made available for this purpose jointly by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and the German Federal Ministry of Transport, as well as the respective German states.

The aim is for the national proposals to be approved by the European Commission as regards state aid law before the end of the year. As part of the European initiative, cooperation between the respective nationally proposed companies is also to be promoted to build a European hydrogen economy. With its two parent companies from Germany and France, ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium, EKPO already fully embodies this European idea. Thanks to Plastic Omnium's expertise in hydrogen storage as well as the know-how of its Austrian subsidiary for hydrogen system solutions, the two partners can provide a full response to the challenges of the entire European on-board value chain for hydrogen vehicles.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger posts solid first-half figures across the board

  • Revenue up markedly in second quarter (+56%) and first half of 2021 (+26%)
  • EBIT at EUR 23.0 million in second quarter and EUR 71.4 million in first half of 2021 despite challenging environment; EBIT margin at 5.9% and 8.7% respectively
  • Operating free cash flow again widened to EUR 65.6 million in first half; net debt reduced by further EUR 216.6 million to now EUR 363.3 million
  • Existing syndicated loan facility expanded by EUR 100 million to EUR 450 million and extended until early 2026
  • Outlook for 2021 financial year confirmed

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), August 5, 2021 +++ ElringKlinger continued its strong start to the year in the second quarter of 2021. The Group generated revenue of EUR 393.6 million, an increase of EUR 141.4 million or 56.1% compared to the same period last year. If exchange rates had remained unchanged, the figure would have been up by EUR 146.3 million or 58.0%. According to data presented by industry service provider IHS, global automobile production grew by 48.6% in the same period. The Group also made strong gains in the first half of 2021 as a whole, with revenue expanding by EUR 169.2 million to EUR 817.6 million when compared to the first six months of the previous year (EUR 648.8 million). Without currency effects, revenue would have been up by an additional EUR 19.4 million.

After a sharp pandemic-induced drop in revenue in the previous year, there were signs of recovery in all regions. In Germany, Group revenue increased by 37% year on year in the second quarter of 2021 and by 92% in the region encompassing the Rest of Europe. Revenue from sales in North America also expanded strongly with an increase of 67%. In the Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, growth was more modest at 20%, as the first quarter of the previous year in particular had been affected by closures and a decline in revenues in China.

Marked improvement in orders
The global recovery is also reflected in the Group's order books: the positive trend seen in the first three months continued in the second quarter of 2021 with incoming orders of EUR 429.5 million. Overall, this represents a significant increase compared to the second quarter of 2020, when the Group had recorded incoming orders worth EUR 192.6 million against the backdrop of lockdown measures.

As a result, the Group's order backlog also increased. After EUR 1,186 million as of March 31, 2021, the order book was expanded once again in the period under review, taking the figure to EUR 1,222 million at the end of the first half. A year earlier, under the impact of the pandemic, the figure had stood at EUR 929.4 million. This translates into a gain of 31.4%.

Earnings visibly stronger
After the slump in revenue last year, the Group managed to improve its earnings performance noticeably, benefiting in part from the successful continuation of its efficiency enhancement program. In the second quarter of 2021, it generated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 23.0 million, up EUR 55.4 million on the prior-year figure (EUR -32.4 million). As a result, earnings per share attributable to the shareholders of ElringKlinger AG amounted to EUR 0.13 in the second quarter and EUR 0.72 in the first six months.

Asked to comment on the Group's performance, Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, said: "Our quarterly results confirm that we are fully on track. Our global efficiency enhancement program continues to take effect, on the back of which the Group's key financial indicators have improved noticeably both in terms of revenue and earnings as well as in respect of cash flow. At 5.9% in the quarter, our EBIT margin is within the targeted range of around 5 to 6% for the full 2021 financial year. In addition, we generated substantial operating free cash flow in the first six months, allowing us to further reduce our net financial liabilities. From a financial perspective, this puts us in an even more robust position than before - in support of the ongoing transformation process and our future endeavors."

Financial strength further cemented
The Group maintained its disciplined investment approach in the quarter under review and was able to further optimize net working capital. Its ratio (in % of Group revenue) improved from 27.8% a year ago to 25.0% at the end of the reporting period. Overall, the Group generated operating free cash flow of EUR 37.0 million in the second quarter of 2021 and EUR 65.6 million in the first half of the year. Net debt was slashed by EUR 216.6 million, down from EUR 579.9 million as of June 30, 2020, to EUR 363.3 million. Upon introduction of the efficiency enhancement program at the end of the first quarter of 2019 net debt had amounted to EUR 795.5 million. Since then, ElringKlinger has significantly reduced its net debt ratio (net debt in relation to EBITDA) - from 3.8 to 1.4 in the past twelve months alone.

Expansion of syndicated loan
In order to provide additional room for maneuver in financial terms, ElringKlinger agreed an extension to the financing framework with the existing partners of the syndicated loan concluded in 2019. As part of this new arrangement agreed after the first-half reporting period in July 2021, the syndicate banks will make a further EUR 100 million available to the Group. Additionally, the term of the entire borrowing facility of now EUR 450 million was extended by two years until early 2026.

Guidance confirmed
Despite the persistently high risk of infection associated with the coronavirus pandemic, global economic activity has been recovering visibly. Fundamentally, this is also evident in the automotive industry, although markets around the globe continue to be exposed to major uncertainties. The situation within commodity markets is tense, and bottlenecks in the semiconductor industry may have a regional or global impact on vehicle production output. In addition, there are concerns over the possibility of new waves of covid-19 infection later in the year, which could again have an impact on economic activity.

Against this backdrop, ElringKlinger continues to anticipate a level of organic revenue growth that is likely to roughly match the rate of expansion in global automobile production. In terms of consolidated earnings, ElringKlinger again anticipates an EBIT margin of around 5 to 6% calculated in relation to Group revenue. The outlook for the other key financial indicators also remains unchanged.

Key financials for the second quarter and first half of 2021

in EUR mH1
2021
H1
2020
∆ abs.∆ rel.Q2
2021
Q2
2020
∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake1,006.1547.5+458.6+83.8%429.5192.6+236.9+>100%
Order backlog1,221.6929.4+292.2+31.4%1,221.6929.4+292.2+31.4%
Revenue817,6648.4+169.2+26.1%393.6252.2+141.4+56.1%
of which curency  -19.4-3.0%  -4.9-2.0%
of which M&A  +0.0+0.0%  +0.0+0.0%
of which organic  +188.6+29.1%  +146.3+58.0%
EBITDA127.644.9+82.7+>100%50.4-0.9+51.4->100%
EBIT71.4-16.4+87.8->100%23.0-32.4+55.4->100%
EBIT margin (in %)8.7-2.5+11.2PP-5.9-12.8+18.7PP-
Net finance cost-3.5-16.1+12.6-78.1%-4.6-6.3 +1.7-27.5%
Profit before taxes67.9-32.5+100.4->100%18.5-38.757.2->100%
Taxes on income-22.9-1.4-21.5+>100%-12.03.1-15.1->100%
Net income (after non-controlling interests)45.8-33.5+79.3->100%7.9-35.5+43.4->100%
Earnings per share (in EUR)0.72-0.53+1.25->100%0.13-0.56+0.69->100%
Investments (in property, plant, and
equipment and investment property)
22.522.7-0.2-0.9%10.910.4+0.5+4.8%
Operating free cash flow65.623.6+42.0+>100%37.025.8+11.2+43.4%
Net working capital413.0417.4-4.4-1.1%    
Equity ratio (in %)46.040.5+5.5PP-    
Net financial debt363.3579.9-216.6-37.4%    
Employees (as of June 30)9,6089,991-383-3.8%    
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