At the upcoming IAA Transportation show in Hanover, Schaeffler will be presenting a demonstration vehicle built from the ground up on the basis of an electric van. The vehicle is driven by a Schaeffler 3 in1 e-axle powered by a fuel cell system made using Schaeffler components. Schaeffler’s focus on drive systems for commercial vehicles includes hydrogen technology, especially for long-haul applications. The company is developing innovative components for fuel cell systems and laying the groundwork for them to be produced on an industrial scale. The various components and systems that make up fuel cells include bipolar plates. These plates are integral components of the fuel cell stack, accounting for up to 80 percent of stack weight and as much as 65 percent of stack volume, despite each plate being only 50 to 100 microns thick. Schaeffler has been developing metallic bipolar plates since 2017 and is currently making them at a pilot plant at its Herzogenaurach location. The process of manufacturing bipolar plates draws on the company’s extensive expertise in multiple manufacturing processes, including cold forming, stamping, joining, and surface treatment. Schaeffler is also leveraging its bearings know-how to develop various axial and radial air foil bearings for fuel cell air supply, nozzles for hydrogen recirculation, and key components for the coolant management system, including a thermal management module and smart valves for decentralized coolant regulation. In addition, the company is continually growing its expertise and capabilities in fuel cell system control, including software modules for fuel cell-specific functions.