First published in Cleantech Infocus: UK Innovation in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board), October 2012
The HyTEC fuel cell taxis which transported VIPs at the London 2012 Olympics were developed with part-funding from the technology Strategy Board.
Technology Strategy Board support for projects led by Intelligent Energy has enabled the company to reach key milestones on its path to growth. The development of the Peugeot van, fuel cell taxi and Burgman scooter have enabled it to build strategic partnerships, showcase its technology and to be part of larger flagship demonstration projects, particularly HyTEC in London and the recently announced London Hydrogen Network Expansion project.
Background: Intelligent Energy’s origins lie in the late 1980s, with the collaboration between Loughborough University’s Departments of Chemistry and Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering to establish one of Europe’s first research and development teams in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. This resulted in the UK’s first kW-level PEM fuel cell stack, in 1995, and the subsequent spin-out of Advanced Power Sources (APS) Ltd. to specifically address the development and commercialisation of PEM fuel cells. APS pursued this course, with funds from UK Government bodies and often through joint development programmes with other commercial entities.
In 2001 Intelligent Energy was founded and acquired APS, attracting private investors and securing an irrevocable, worldwide licence to exploit all of both APS’s and the University group’s fuel cell related know-how, in addition to all the key staff from both entities. With the proceeds of further rounds of private financing, in 2003 Intelligent Energy acquired US-based Element One Enterprises, a company with a substantial track record in hydrogen generation and hydrogen refueling technology, and, in 2004, MesoFuel Inc., a US specialist in developing small devices for converting liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons into hydrogen for energy storage and use in fuel cells.
Technology Strategy Board Funding Highlights
2010: £1.1m for the £3m Burgman fuel cell motorbike project involving Intelligent Energy, Suzuki and Loughborough University. The collaboration assisted in the achievement of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval for the fuel cell Burgman and the move by Suzuki to commercialise fuel cell technologies for motorbikes and scooters.
2008: Funding for Intelligent Energy fuel cell taxi project in collaboration with Lotus Engineering, London Taxis International and TRW Conekt. That project led to involvement in the HyTEC (Hydrogen Transport for European Cities) project.
2005: £1.7m for a three-year partnership between IE and PSA Peugeot Citroen, culminating in the delivery in 2008 of a light van demonstrator vehicle based on the Peugeot Partner Origin and powered by an electric battery with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender which lifted vehicle duty cycle from 85km to 303km.
Key Investors: Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited, Black River Commodity Clean Energy Investment Fund LLC, Black River Global Equity Fund Limited, Meditor Capital Management Limited and Evolution Placements Corporation.
2012: £22m (US$35m) at £2.3 per share (fully diluted valuation of c. US$0.5bn)
2011: £7m ($11m) at £1.70 per share
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