Ballard inks US$80M+ deal with Volkswagen
IP transaction deepens B.C.-based fuel cell firm's strategic partnership German auto maker.
Ballard Power Systems announced that it has entered into a Technology Solutions transaction with Volkswagen Group for approximately US$80 million. Under the terms of the deal, Ballard will transfer the automotive-related portion of fuel cell intellectual property (IP) the company acquired from United Technologies Corporation, in return for payments from Volkswagen Group totaling US$50 million. Ballard will retain a royalty-free license to the IP for bus and non-automotive applications as well as for certain limited pre-commercial purposes in automotive applications.
The deal also includes a two-year extension, through March 2019, of the companies’ existing long-term engineering services agreement signed in 2013. This extension has an incremental value estimated at C$30-50 million. Over the full six-years, the contract has an estimated value of C$100-140 million, and also includes a further optional two-year extension.
Ballard’s ongoing engineering services contract with Volkswagen Group involves the design and manufacture of next-generation fuel cell stacks for use in the demonstration car program. Ballard engineers are leading critical areas of fuel cell product design – including the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), plate and stack components – along with certain testing and integration work.
Volkswagen Group’s commitment to fuel cell car development was underscored last November at the LA Auto Show, where fuel cell concept cars representing Volkswagen and Audi brand models were introduced: Golf SportWagen HyMotion, Passat HyMotion and Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro.