ZeroAvia and PowerCell agree on developing of fuel cell stacks for aviation
The partnership will co-develop and manufacture at ZeroAvia’s UK R&D facility of world-leading aviation-optimized fuel cell stacks.
ZeroAvia signed a memorandum of understanding with PowerCell Sweden AB, a leading hydrogen fuel cell stack manufacturer that will see joint development and deliveries of at least 5,000 aviation-optimized Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks between 2024 and 2028.
PowerCell intends to establish a UK presence for the first time, building a production team alongside ZeroAvia’s production facilities. The parties expect to reach a final agreement in the third quarter 2022.
The partnership will see both parties continuing work together to modify existing PowerCell stacks for optimal performance within ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric, zero-emission aviation powertrains. PowerCell intends to assemble the modified stacks for incorporation into ZeroAvia’s prototype, and later certified powertrains.
PowerCell has been a key supplier of low-temperature PEM (LTPEM) fuel cells as part of ZeroAvia’s pioneering efforts to develop a certifiable 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain underneath the HyFlyer II project, supported by the UK Government through the ATI program. ZeroAvia plans to power 9–19 seat commercial aircraft up to 300 nautical miles using its ZA600 powertrains by 2024—enabling guilt-free flights on routes such as London to Edinburgh and Stockholm to Malmö.
After conducting a demonstration of 6-seat R&D prototypes, ZeroAvia is preparing for the inaugural test flight of its 600kW hydrogen-electric engine in the coming days, including the use of PowerCell fuel cell stacks as part of these systems. The company is also retrofitting a second Dornier-228 testbed in Hollister, California, to conduct further flight tests and demonstrations in the important North American market.
Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia, Founder & CEO, said, “This MoU further cements ZeroAvia’s lead in the race to deliver true zero-emission engines for commercial flights. By co-locating this operation, we can ensure the full collaboration of both talented teams in tailoring hydrogen fuel cell stacks for aviation. This will result in delivery of systems with the required power to enable electric aviation to achieve range and payload that are highly attractive to operators and airframe OEMs, while eliminating emissions.”
Richard Berkling, CEO, PowerCell Sweden AB, said, “Working with ZeroAvia has been a core plank of our entry into the clean aviation market, which is a very large future market for fuel cell technology. We are delighted to further formalize that partnership and to establish our first UK development presence, given our opportunities here across multiple sectors.”