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October 6, 2022

ZeroAvia acquires fuel cell stack innovator HyPoint

The acquisition adds advanced high-temperature fuel cell technology to ZeroAvia’s development of a full powertrain for hydrogen-electric flight

By Peter Nilson

British/American hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia has acquired fuel cell stack innovator HyPoint.

US-based company HyPoint is focused on supercharging the power output and energy density of fuel cells. The acquisition adds this advanced high-temperature fuel cell technology to ZeroAvia’s efforts in developing the full powertrain to enable hydrogen-electric flight.

ZeroAvia has identified hydrogen-electric powertrains – where fuel cells use hydrogen in a chemical reaction to generate electricity that powers electric motors – as the most practical, economical, and farthest-reaching solution for reducing aviation’s climate change and clean air impacts. 

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

All 40 UK HyPoint staff will be integrated into ZeroAvia, working across the R&D locations in Kemble, UK, and HyPoint’s location in Sandwich, UK.

All of HyPoint’s engineering team will join ZeroAvia’s hydrogen power generation systems division.

“We see this as a significant forward step for ZeroAvia, and a hugely important strategic step to strengthen our leadership position in hydrogen-electric powertrain development for aviation. There are no other organisations with the breadth of expertise and world-leading IP in hydrogen-electric aviation that we now have within the company,” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia CEO and founder.

“This acquisition, together with our long-standing partnership with Powercell, puts us in the top position for delivering the most environmentally and economically attractive solution to aviation’s growing climate impact.”

The two companies have worked closely together on co-developing and testing high temperature polymeric electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell technology as part of ZeroAvia’s powertrain development over the last couple of years, with HyPoint relocating the bulk of its R&D team to the UK in February 2022 to support the partnership.

HyPoint’s CEO Alex Ivanenko joins ZeroAvia as general manager of vertical take of and landing (VTOL) and new segments, developing rotorcraft business applications, and exploring other applications outside of ZeroAvia’s core focus on fixed-wing commercial aviation.

“This acquisition is the natural next chapter in our journey, allowing us to tap into the benefits of the larger and strategic resources that ZeroAvia has to offer. It will accelerate our product development and, as a result, partners from different market segments will get mature products based on novel turbo-air cooled HTPEM hydrogen fuel cells,” said Ivanenko.

This new development comes on the heels of the announcement of a major deal with ZeroAvia’s long-term fuel cell partner PowerCell, which will see the serial delivery of hydrogen fuel stacks beginning in 2024.

In August 2022, American Airlines made an undisclosed investment in ZeroAvia, with the two signing a memorandum of understanding that will allow American Airlines to order up to 100 units of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric zero-emission engines for regional aircraft.

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