VANCOUVER—Ballard Power Systems Inc. is transferring “certain automotive-related fuel cell intellectual property” to the Volkswagen Group in a deal worth US$50 million.
According to Vancouver-based Ballard, it will receive US$50 million from the Volkswagen Group, including its Volkswagen AG and Audi AG brands, in exchange for the automotive-related portion of fuel cell intellectual property it acquired from United Technologies Corp. (UTC).
“Audi, VW and the Volkswagen Group are very pleased with the acquisition of a world-class automotive fuel cell patent portfolio,” Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen Group’s technical development coordinator, said in a statement released by Ballard.
“We believe that this portfolio, together with the combined fuel cell skills and expertise of our group and Ballard, will underpin our ability to play a leading role in fuel cell automotive development and commercialization.”
Ballard said it will retain a royalty-free licence to utilize the intellectual property transferred to Volkswagen Group in bus and other non-automotive applications, and for certain “limited pre-commercial purposes in automotive applications.”
“This transaction extends and deepens our relationship with the Volkswagen Group, a leading global automotive manufacturer,” Ballard president and CEO Randy McEwen said.
The two sides also inked a two-year engineering services contract extension worth another US$24- to US$40 million.
Ballard said its ongoing engineering services contract with the Volkswagen Group “involves the design and manufacture of next-generation fuel cell stacks” for use in a demonstration car program.
The company said its engineers are “leading critical areas of fuel cell product design”—including the membrane electrode assembly, and plate and stack components—as well as “certain testing and integration work.”