Q What is your role in the company?
As President and CEO of Loop Energy, my role is to strategically guide the company’s vision to design and manufacture fuel cell solutions for the commercial vehicle industry. I was appointed President of Loop Energy in 2015 and Chief Executive Officer in 2016.
During this time, I have overseen the launch of four products while expanding Loop Energy’s team to China, the US and Europe. I have also led the company in securing two rounds of strategic investment and subsequently through the IPO process in 2021, raising $100 million on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Q Tell us a bit about Loop Energy
Loop Energy is a Canadian-listed, industry-leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of hydrogen fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles and power generation systems. Our proprietary eFlowTM technology is reshaping the industry with an unmatched combination of fuel efficiency, power density and durability compared to same class alternatives.
The Loop Energy team consists of a range of industry experts with decades of experience across the hydrogen fuel cell, automotive and clean tech industries. With this expertise, Loop Energy is designing and innovating fuel cell technology that is driving the commercial vehicle sector toward a net zero future.
Q Can you tell us a bit about Loop Energy’s history?
Loop Energy was founded in 2000 to develop economic fuel cell technologies. For many years Loop Energy operated in a research and development capacity, collaborating with Canada’s National Research Council and various OEMs to ensure its products are optimized for the needs of commercial fleet operators.
In 2018, Loop Energy began to offer its fuel cell products commercially to the commercial vehicle industry, and as of Q3 2022, it has 19 partners in its Customer Adoption Cycle.
Q What are Loop Energy’s objectives?
Loop Energy’s mission is to be “the engine driving zero-emissions”. Continuing to push the boundaries and innovate is at our company’s core. With our technology, we are challenging the use of legacy fuels to meet zero-emissions goals. By combining fuel cell innovation with the needs of commercial vehicle operators, we are now offering an alternative that can assist the move to a low-carbon world.
This year we have invested heavily in both talent and our manufacturing facilities. As we continue growing our team and global footprint, we are in a great position to continue embedding our technology across global markets.
Q ‘Our time is now’ is one of your slogans in the corporate presentation. Can you elaborate a bit on that statement?
Hydrogen fuel cells have come of age and will be an important driver in the global clean energy transition. New and innovative technologies for alternative energy systems will be at the core of achieving a successful net zero transition. With transportation accounting for so much of the global emissions profile, hydrogen will play a fundamental role in offering a cleaner transport alternative to meet net zero targets.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is increasingly recognised as an economical and high-performing replacement for diesel vehicles. While alternatives have previously fallen on the hurdle of price, Loop Energy adds its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell engines to EV platforms to ensure a competitive cost of ownership.
In September 2021, we launched our S1200 (120 kW) fuel cell, which harnesses our next-generation bipolar plate technology. With this, we can offer fleet operators new levels of fuel efficiency for medium- to heavy-duty applications, lowering the total cost of ownership and bringing fuel cost parity forward by four-to-eight years.
With the climate crisis and energy security concerns demanding urgent action across various sectors, we strongly believe that the energy transition must happen now, and hydrogen fuel cell technology is in a prime place to provide the alternative to diesel-powered vehicles.
Q What sort of services/products does Loop Energy offer?
Loop Energy offers a range of fuel cell modules and systems, each powered by our proprietary eFlow™ PEM fuel cell stacks. Our fuel cells serve light- to medium-duty applications as well as heavy-duty applications. Our product range includes 30, 50, 60, and 120 kW fuel cell offerings.
Loop Energy also provides complete fuel cell systems, which include an eFlow powered fuel module, DCDC and cooling system for seamless integration. We offer this to support customers in their transition to fuel cells and to try to remove barriers around integration and vehicle design.
Q In which segments are you most active?
Loop Energy’s fuel cells have been applied to applications spanning various sectors and industries. We have designed our products to offer benefits in several markets, including buses, trucks, stationary power systems, port and materials handling applications and specialty vehicles.
By developing a fuel cell that prioritizes fuel efficiency and simplifies integration, our technology has the potential to service a growing number of traditionally diesel-dominated sectors.
Q Which segment holds the most potential for widespread fuel cell adoption in your view?
Hydrogen is particularly well-suited for commercial vehicles as fuel cells can be used to enhance battery-electric vehicles, especially for the transportation sector.
Over the next 2 to 3 years, we expect to service a truck and bus market size upwards of US $15 Billion as the industry moves towards greater adoption of hydrogen technology, facilitating greater energy density and range for the electric freight segment.
Currently, the main problem with battery-electric commercial vehicles is the heavy weight of batteries and long recharging time. Using a fuel cell as a range extender can achieve greater vehicle range, cargo capacity and faster refuelling time, all factors which lower the total cost of ownership.
Q Can you tell us a bit about the purchase order projections for 2023 and where you expect that growth to be realised?
At the end of Q2 this year, we provided an upward revision in purchase order guidance from 60 to 100 for 2022 and 180 to 500 for 2023.
We started 2022 intending to triple our purchase orders, and to revise our purchase order guidance after only six months for 2022 and 2023 is a great testament to the strength of our go-to-market strategy, technology and our team that is delivering and bettering this aggressive goal.
The launch of our S1200 fuel cell earlier this year will increase our Total Addressable Market (TAM), as we are able to increasingly serves the heavy-duty vehicle space.
Q It looks like there are capacity expansions in your short term plans. How are those going to look? Where will they be situated, and which markets and segments will they focus on?
Having expanded our manufacturing and business development at home and with locations in Asia and Europe, Loop Energy is positioned to grow its global footprint as we expand our services and supply customers worldwide.
We have invested heavily in our home office here in Burnaby, Canada, which has seen a 60% space increase to the manufacturing facility as well as significant additions to the engineering and manufacturing teams. With a strengthened team and operational upgrades, we can increasingly service the global market. Meanwhile, we have also opened a Shanghai facility, opening the opportunity to serve the Chinese and wider Asian market.
Earlier this year, we also announced the opening of our UK office, marking an exciting extension of Loop Energy’s presence in the European market. Loop Energy’s newest facility is based in Grays, Essex, just east of the centre of London and next to a growing group of manufacturers helping decarbonise road transport, including current customer Tevva, the hydrogen and electric truck OEM which is based in Tilbury.
In continental Europe and the UK, diesel and petrol vehicles will start to be banned from 2030. This creates a huge opportunity for alternative fuel technologies to enter the market, and we have already seen an increase in customer demand for Loop Energy’s fuel cells in these regions. We expect this to continue, particularly in those markets with stringent net-zero ambitions.