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Audi Buys Fuel-Cell Patents From Ballard Power Systems

Audi (ETR:NSU) has bought fuel-cell patents from Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems (TSE:BLD), a company that is one of the world’s leading companies in the technology of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Ballard provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel‑cell programs.

The German car manufacturer Audi will push up investment in car-making operations by 2 billion euros ($2.44 billion) to a record 24 billion euros over the next five years. Most of these funds will be directed to their production plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm which accounted for half the carmaker’s nine-month output of 1.34 million autos. Overall, Audi is investing in green car technologies across the board lately. This means that the car maker’s push for electric and hybrid driving systems will make a big chunk of their future expenditure, but also the profit arising from sales of such vehicles.

The purchase of these patents will provide new impetus for the development of fuel‑cell drive systems at Audi, VW and the Volkswagen Group. As explained by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG and responsible for the steering of the development departments of all brands in the VW Group: “Audi is acquiring these strategically important patents for the entire group and will make them available to all the brands. In this way, we are securing crucial expertise that will provide new impetus for the further development of this technology.”

While no further clarification on what exactly will these new technologies be used at, we can reasonably presume that new all-electric and hybrid models will benefit from these. Audi has been pushing with their research in this field. Cars like the upcoming Audi R8 e-tron are just a part of the whole model range that will benefit from such research, while the big German car maker is making great strides and slowly catching up to the likes of Tesla Motors and others.