SFC wins Daimler order for fuel cell onboard power in vans

German-based SFC Smart Fuel Cell has secured an order from the Mercedes-Benz Cologne/Leverkusen unit of Daimler AG, to supply more than 130 EFOY Pro direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems by the end of the year.

Daimler will use the EFOY Pro 1600 systems to provide onboard power in vehicles for professional users. Most of the SFC systems will be retrofitted to existing official Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, with others fitted in new Sprinters.

‘This order confirms SFC’s market-leading position for onboard fuel cell power supply of special-purpose vehicles,’ comments Dr Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Smart Fuel Cell. ‘Especially for professional users, there is great demand for reliable long-term energy supply far from the grid. In this field we see one of the core growth areas for our company.’

These vehicles, fitted with SFC's fuel cells, are to be used by officials non-stop for eight or more hours as a mobile office. Therefore the vehicles need to support a high level of equipment functionality.

Until now, it has been highly problematic to provide a reliable power source for the equipment in such vehicles, with no access to an electric outlet. The vehicles are often far from the grid; the engine cannot be kept running to provide the power, as it is too costly and bad for the environment; and generators are out of the question for hours of use, as the noise and exhaust fumes are a strain on the vehicle occupants.

The onboard EFOY Pro fuel cell solves these problems as it charges the batteries automatically, silently and without producing any emissions. This means there is no need to recharge from the grid or at the depot, and the vehicles can be used flexibly, with no need to return to a depot to recharge the batteries.

This repeat order for SFC to equip special-purpose vehicles means that by the end of the year, almost 400 official vehicles will be on German roads using EFOY fuel cells. The cartridges for this application will be sold at sales points run by a large distributor, ensuring that there is blanket coverage. EFOY cartridges are already available at more than 1200 sales points across Europe.

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