Eberspacher acquires Vairex air systems to join hydrogen fuel cell supply chain13 July 2021

Automotive supplier Eberspacher enters the fast-growing market of hydrogen and fuel cell technology with the acquisition ViCTORi LLC, trading as Vairex air systems.

The acquired company 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 them key components for the performance of fuel cells and contributing significantly to the performance, packaging and durability of the overall system.

The technology is already utilised in stationary as well as in mobile fuel cell 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.

The acquisition is part of the company's targeted development of new business areas in the field of "Hydrogen for Mobility". According to market forecasts, a worldwide sales potential of eight billion US 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 (USA) as well as sales operations in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai, the company has so far seen the greatest success in the US and Asian markets.

Ski Milburn, CEO of Vairex air systems, emphasizes: "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. Eberspacher 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.

In addition, Jörg Schernikau, COO climate control systems and automotive controls at Eberspacher, states: “While acquiring Vairex we open up a new business area for Eberspacher. In doing so, we rely on the many years of Dr. Massimo Venturi’s experience. With his knowledge in fuel cell technology, Venturi will, in addition to his previous roles [vice president, business unit automotive electronics], become president of Vairex, and further develop the company.”

Transport Engineer

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