Plug Power acquires American Fuel Cell

Acquisition expands research and development capabilities in on-road applications including delivery vehicle fleets.

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Plug Power, a leading provider of fuel cell energy solutions, has announced the acquisition of American Fuel Cell, a developer of Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) technology, the key catalyst for fuel cells to create power.

With this acquisition Plug Power gains MEA design capability coupled with specialized system knowledge for on-road applications. The acquisition is intended to accelerate the company’s expansion into the on-road industry, including delivery vehicle fleets that are increasingly utilizing fuel cell or electric powertrains.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan recently forecasted the electric truck market (global light, medium, and heavy-duty hybrid) to achieve annual sales of 2.25 million units by 2025 in light of the global push for cleaner solutions for transportation of goods and passengers and targets for reduced emissions.

According to Plug Power, fuel cells generate clean, efficient electricity coupled with high power density, extended range, and market-leading uptime due to rapid refueling. American Fuel Cell’s team of specialists, based in Rochester, N.Y., apply years of experience from past positions at General Motors to drive system optimization and MEA development, especially as it relates to on-road applications.

“Joining Plug Power enables us to rapidly expand not only our research, development, and manufacturing efforts, but also provide a significant impact in the application of our commercially viable, innovative system solutions to product in the field,” said Daniel O’Connell, CEO, American Fuel Cell. “Plug Power is not only a known innovator with a long-standing commitment to R&D, but the company also has incredible traction with large organizations seeking to identify and capitalize on creating efficiencies in their supply chain.”

Through this acquisition Plug Power will immediately have a facility in Rochester, N.Y., located in the Eastman Business Park, with all staff of AFC becoming Plug Power employees. This new office represents an expansion of Plug Power’s operations in its home state of New York.

“Each day, we see the role that fuel cells are playing in the increasingly electrified world evolve in a positive direction. At Plug Power we see demand increasing each month, and given our rich R&D legacy, we’re always looking for new technologies and teams that can help to grow our business and remain at the forefront of emerging fuel cell technology,” said Andy Marsh, CEO, Plug Power. “The American Fuel Cell team is an unmatched group of bright thinkers who understand the potential of fuel cells in on-road applications. We’re looking forward to working together to create a cleaner, more efficient future as on-road applications grow, and electric fleet vehicles increasingly become the norm.”

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