Fuel-Cell Boost With Horiba Acquisition

The acquisition of FuelCon should bolster Horiba’s test system portfolio for fuel cells, batteries and other e-vehicle components.

Precision-instruments manufacturer Horiba announced the acquisition of FuelCon, a supplier of fuel cell and battery test systems based in Germany. FuelCon will become part of Horiba’s Automotive Test Systems (ATS), which specializes in engine, driveline, brake and emissions test systems. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Horiba, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, said it plans to develop FuelCon’s Magdeburg facility as the ATS global center of competence for fuel cell and battery test systems. The purchase could allow the company to increase its presence in the vehicle-electrification market.

“We regard FuelCon as the perfect fit for our strategic ambitions,” Robert Plank, chief operating officer of Horiba Europe, said in a statement. “We will now be able to offer an increasingly comprehensive suite of test and validation solutions for a full range of automotive propulsion technologies moving from combustion engines to electrified powertrains.”

Founded in 2001 and based outside of Berlin, FuelCon manufactures and supplies both research and development and end-of-line test beds and its product range includes test systems for fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries and the electrified drivetrain and its components. It also offers a test station series called Evaluator-EC for cell tests and the Evaluator-ES series, designed for the automated testing of alkaline or PEM electrolyzer stacks.

“With Horiba we have found a partner who will give us that international reach and with their track record in the manufacture of complex test and measurement solutions, they understand our need to continue to be able to respond promptly to complex customer demands,” Mathias Bode, managing director of FuelCon, said in a statement.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter.

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