Vitesco Technologies, a spin-off from Continental, aims to develop and produce the next generation of control electronics for fuel cell systems. Through the ECH2* project, the company aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen vehicles by using a modular approach and increasing the life expectancy of the system.
The ECH2 project has been selected by the “Comité d’orientation pour la recherche automobile et la mobilité” -CORAM- (Steering Committee for Automobile Research and Mobility). It will enable the development of core technologies from thermal and electric vehicles, mostly taking into account the achievements of the aeronautics and rail sectors. It will have a modular approach at the right cost aimed at the light commercial vehicle, bus and truck markets.
“With this ECH2 project, we aim to reduce energy consumption by developing optimal and adaptive predictive control laws, which will be integrated into the electronic fuel cell control units. This project plans to model cell ageing which will enable to act on control electronics to limit these phenomena and thus avoid additional costs linked to the platinum content of the fuel cell,” says Christophe Maréchal, Innovation Director at Vitesco Technologies France.
The equipment manufacturer intends to meet the growing demand for fuel cell control electronics in the second half of this decade, particularly from French manufacturers, leaders in the light commercial vehicle market.
*Control Electronics for Hydrogen Vehicles: one of the 14 projects selected in 2021 as part of the French government’s stimulus plan. It is conducted in partnership with IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) through its “Carnot IFPEN Transports Energie”, the Laplace laboratory and the industrialists Siemens Industry Software and ALSTOM Hydrogen (HELION Hydrogen Power).
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King.