In its on-going effort to improve performance and reduce cost of its GenDrive™ products for the material handling market, Plug Power began the development of a lithium based hybrid battery system to replace its nickel-metal hydride hybrid batteries. In November, 2008, Plug Power partnered with MGL to develop an advanced lithium based platform that could be easily configured to meet a range of applications.
Plug Power led the mechanical development as well as creation of a robust battery management system to ensure product performance and safety. MGL focused on optimizing its high power lithium cells and establishing the manufacturing capacity for the cells and the finished battery systems. By the fall of 2009, Plug Power had successfully introduced these products into its class-2 and class-3 GenDrive power units.
Based on the successful introduction of the lithium battery systems into GenDrive products, it became evident that other adjacent markets could also benefit from this sophisticated and configurable technology. While Plug Power and MGL intend to address global market opportunities, the most significant near term market for their battery system technology supports the rapidly growing Chinese hybrid automotive industry. Through this agreement, Plug Power and MGL will first introduce their products to the Chinese automotive industry, where "New Energy" sponsored programs are supporting the deployment of at least 500,000 hybrid and pure electric vehicles over the next four years.
"Plug Power’s GenDrive products have realized significant improvements in both performance and cost through the introduction of this lithium battery system technology," said Adrian Corless, Plug Power’s CTO. "Plug Power and MGL are now able to use this flexible technology platform to design, build and sell hybrid battery systems which extend into automotive applications that share similar requirements to our GenDrive products."
"Plug Power is encouraged to see this sophisticated technology adopted into hybrid vehicle applications," said Andy Marsh, CEO for Plug Power. "Plug Power and MGL are able to build upon a solution developed specifically for our GenDrive product requirements and satisfy the needs of a complimentary business. Most importantly, we were able to do this with limited investment from either company."
"We are very pleased to continue to expand our technical and business relationship with Plug Power," said Dr. Wang Yahe, General Manager for MGL. "We believe that both companies will significantly grow their businesses by addressing the large new market opportunities in automotive hybrid battery systems."
Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive and continuous power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world.