Eberspaecher enters the market of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, as the company agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of the U.S. company ViCTORi LLC, better known as VAIREX air systems, effective July 2. In the future, Eberspaecher will offer air supply components for fuel cell systems.
With increasing decarbonization, hydrogen is gaining in importance as an energy carrier. “We are deliberately investing in a future market and want to grow purposefully with hydrogen and fuel cell technology,” said Managing Partner Martin Peters.
ViCTORi, operating under the brand VAIREX air systems, develops and produces fuel cell cathode air compressors and related components. These control the power that the fuel cell generates through accurate air flow and pressure supply, making it a key component for the performance of fuel cells and contributing significantly to the performance, packaging, and durability of the overall system. The technology is already utilized in stationary as well as in mobile fuel cells applications and includes emission-free forklifts and conveyor vehicles. In addition, they are used as range extenders in light delivery vehicles as well as in stationary power generation systems. Due to the high reliability of the components, they can be used in fuel-cell trucks or buses in the future. Since the overall market for fuel cell applications is growing strongly, Eberspaecher is investing purposefully. According to market forecasts, a worldwide sales potential of eight billion U.S. dollars is estimated for fuel cell systems by 2030.
VAIREX products have been on the market for more than ten years and the company has already delivered more than 15,000 air compressors to customers in 25 countries worldwide. With headquarters and production in Boulder, Colorado, as well as sales operations in Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai, the company has so far seen the greatest success in the U.S. and Asian markets.
“After years of strong and recently accelerating growth, VAIREX needed to significantly expand our scale and global footprint to keep pace with the fuel cell industry,” said Ski Milburn, CEO of VAIREX air systems. “Eberspächer is an excellent fit, and we are thrilled to become part of this great company. Together we can quickly amplify our engineering and manufacturing capabilities and introduce our planned new products much quicker than we could have done it by ourselves.” Milburn will remain in operational management with the current management team.
“While acquiring VAIREX we open up a new business area for Eberspaecher,” said Dr. Jörg Schernikau, COO of climate control systems and automotive controls at Eberspaecher. “In doing so, we rely on the many years of Dr. Massimo Venturi’s experience. With his knowledge in fuel cell technology, he will, in addition to his previous functions at Eberspaecher, become president of VAIREX, and further develop the company.” The automotive supplier plans to expand the product portfolio and open new markets.
“We plan to further develop and scale up VAIREX's products through Eberspaecher's global presence and integrate our electronics expertise.”
The acquisition is part of the company’s targeted development of new business areas in the field of “Hydrogen for Mobility.”