BMW Manufacturing Facility in Spartanburg, SC, Expands Use of Clean Energy in Its Material Handling Trucks and Forklifts
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced that BMW Manufacturing Co. recently expanded the use of Plug Power hydrogen fuel cells at its Spartanburg, South Carolina facility to power all material handling trucks and forklifts, bringing its clean energy fleet to 275 units. This makes it the largest such fleet in North America.
BMW maintains a commitment to environmental responsibility and continues to incorporate efficient, alternative technology in its production processes whenever possible. In 2010, after installing a storage and distribution area for hydrogen supplied by Linde Industrial Gases near its 4 million-square-foot production facility in Spartanburg, BMW equipped more than 100 forklift trucks and pallet jacks in its X3 assembly hall with Plug Power’s GenDrive™ hydrogen fuel cell system. Now, BMW has added GenDrive units to another 175 trucks and forklifts in the assembly hall for its X5 and X6 automobiles and in its paint and body shops.
Clean GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative to lead-acid batteries in the $20 billion global material handling market. Use of the fuel cells lowers operational costs, produces zero emissions and improves reliability. Fuel cell usage also eliminates the need for large battery storage and charging rooms, freeing up valuable production space and removing any lead and sulfuric acid contamination from the work environment. Since battery charging is no longer required, total electricity demand is reduced and the fees associated with battery recycling and disposal are eliminated.
BMW chose to deploy GenDrive fuel cells in its manufacturing center to full take advantage of those and other benefits, such as increased productivity for both vehicle operators and production. Material handling trucks powered by fuel cells run longer at full speed unlike battery-powered trucks that experience voltage drops and speed reductions of approximately 14% when a re-charge is needed. Re-fueling can be completed in two minutes or less, as opposed to the 20 minutes required to replace a battery.
“BMW’s ongoing commitment to clean production is evident in our recent expansion of our hydrogen fuel cell program,” said Duncan Seaman, BMW Group, Head of Market Operations, Americas. “We appreciate Linde’s partnership in supporting the expansion, making our entire operation more sustainable.”
“The expansion of BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleet in Spartanburg makes BMW one of the world’s largest users of hydrogen fuel cells at a single site,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “This milestone is significant because it demonstrates that a GenDrive solution can profitably scale to bring enormous benefits to the organization including increased productivity, cost savings and carbon-footprint reductions.”
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power is revolutionizing the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for Plug Power’s key accounts, including Walmart, Sysco, P&G and Mercedes. With more than 4,000 GenDrive units deployed to material handling customers, accumulating over 8.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow’s incumbent power solutions today. Additional information about Plug Power is available at www.plugpower.com.
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This communication contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties, any of which are difficult to predict, are beyond our control and that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations in our forward-looking statements including, but not limited to: the risk that we continue to incur losses and might never achieve or maintain profitability, the risk that we expect we will need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and such capital may not be available to us; our lack of extensive experience in manufacturing and marketing products may impact our ability to manufacture and market products on a profitable and large-scale commercial basis; the risk that unit orders will not ship, be installed and/or converted to revenue, in whole or in part; the risk that pending orders may not convert to purchase orders; the risk that our continued failure to comply with NASDAQ’s listing standards may severely limit our ability to raise additional capital; the cost and timing of developing our products and our ability to raise the necessary capital to fund such costs; the ability to achieve the forecasted gross margin on the sale of our products; the actual net cash used for operating expenses may exceed the projected net cash for operating expenses; the cost and availability of fuel and fueling infrastructures for our products; market acceptance of our GenDrive systems; our ability to establish and maintain relationships with third parties with respect to product development, manufacturing, distribution and servicing and the supply of key product components; the cost and availability of components and parts for our products; our ability to develop commercially viable products; our ability to reduce product and manufacturing costs; our ability to successfully expand our product lines; our ability to improve system reliability for our GenDrive systems; competitive factors, such as price competition and competition from other traditional and alternative energy companies; our ability to protect our intellectual property; the cost of complying with current and future federal, state and international governmental regulations; and other risks and uncertainties discussed, but are not limited to, those set forth in (i) “Item IA-Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 30, 2012 and (ii) in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 filed with the SEC on November 14, 2012, as well as in the other reports we file from time to time with
the SEC. We do not intend to, and undertake no duty to; update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.
Source: Plug Power
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