MTC in project to ramp up global fuel cell production


The Manufacturing Technology Centre has joined forces with hydrogen technology pioneer Adelan in a project aiming at significantly ramping up fuel cell manufacturing capacity in the UK.

With funding from the Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, Birmingham-based Adelan and the MTC will study ways of building UK capacity for manufacturing fuel cells for the automotive sector, helping the UK drive to net zero.

Created to support the large-scale industrialisation of the electric vehicle supply chain, the £1 billion Automotive Transformation Fund is focusing on companies involved in fuel cells and batteries as well as power electronics.

Dr Michaela Kendall, chief executive of Adelan, said, “The Midlands, as the heart of the UK automotive industry, has a real opportunity to maximise the value of the clean vehicle revolution.

“With the support of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, this study will help us scale up fuel cell manufacturing from hundreds of units to the hundreds of thousands of units needed,” she said.

She added, “The electric vehicle supply chain represents a significant investment opportunity for the UK, and the Midlands in particular. We can build on our strengths to create a global powerhouse that will drive the transformation of transport and our sustainable future. We need to ask ourselves if the UK can afford not to invest in hydrogen and the related technologies we need like fuel cells.”

Huw Sullivan, sector lead for hydrogen at the MTC, said, “Hydrogen technologies like the fuel cells manufactured by Adelan can support the UK in its transition towards a low carbon transport system. This will require a high-tech and integrated manufacturing environment and we need to develop that urgently if we are to capitalise on these breakthroughs. At the MTC we understand the need for streamlining and automating assembly lines, and we support this through design for manufacturing and strategic partnerships. We work with industry leaders like Dr Kendall to make sure the Midlands retains its key role in the UK automotive manufacturing sector.”

Adelan is a leading developer of clean, portable fuel cell systems. Its scientists and engineers have more than four decades of experience in hydrogen technologies and it is the UK’s longest running fuel cell technology business.

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.