Schaeffler to Display Fuel-Cell Technology in Tokyo

The automotive supplier is using its traditional core expertise in materials, forming and surface technologies in developing both fuel cells and fuel-cell stacks, or metallic bipolar plates.

Jim Irwin, Associate Editor

October 17, 2019

1 Min Read
Schaeffler metallic bipolar plates
Stacked bipolar plates form core of fuel-cell system.

Hydrogen-fuel-cell components will be among the technologies showcased by Schaeffler at the upcoming Tokyo auto show.

The automotive supplier is using its traditional core expertise in materials, forming and surface technologies in developing both fuel cells and fuel-cell stacks, or metallic bipolar plates.

Bipolar plates, produced by precise forming and coating in the thin-layer range, form the core of the fuel-cell system once they are stacked. The fuel-cell stacks are energy converters, which allow hydrogen to react with oxygen to form water. The electricity generated during this process powers the vehicle’s electric motor.

Schaeffler says its portfolio for optimized fuel-cell systems includes additional areas of expertise, such as electronic control systems, special foil-air bearings, smart thermal management modules and components for passive hydrogen recirculation.

"We want to shape CO2-neutral, sustainable and individual mobility with regard to the entire energy chain," Uwe Wagner, chief technology officer at Schaeffler, says in a news release. "The problem of global CO2 emissions cannot be solved with purely battery-driven vehicles alone. Heavy goods vehicles, in particular, will require alternative energy-storage systems, and hydrogen in combination with the fuel cell offers outstanding opportunities here.

“Hybrid storage systems, i.e., the combination of a battery and hydrogen, are also an attractive solution for achieving a longer range in passenger cars.”

Also at the Tokyo show, Schaeffler will exhibit new electric motors in various output classes that now are going into large-volume production; solutions for intelligent rear-wheel steering; the Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module with its 90-degree steering angle; drive-by-wire as a key enabling technology for self-driving cars; and the Schaeffler Mover as a new mobility concept for urban spaces.

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