Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Emissions

Study is bullish about role of fuel cells to combat oil dependency, rising fuel costs, and emissions

EXTON, Pa., March 19, 2002 — While government leaders continue their long debate over stricter mileage requirements and the need for alternative vehicle fuels designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, materials suppliers and fuel cell companies are making great strides in developing fuel cells as a clean, alternative energy source.

The emerging technology will penetrate numerous applications including automotive, stationary heating and power, and micro devices to replace batteries in cell phones and laptops. Principia Partners, a business consultancy, is currently conducting the industry’s first in-depth analysis on materials opportunities in the fuel cell industry.

The Firm’s findings will be available in a study entitled: Material Opportunities in Fuel Cell Technology – 2002 and Beyond.

Principia Partners projects the market for fuel cells will reach nearly $3 billion by 2005 with a dramatic increase projected by 2010. The Exton, PA-based consulting firm views fuel cell technology as the ultimate collaborative response from industry to the divided opinion about how to manage rising fuel consumption, costs, and emissions.

Higher CAFE regulations may bring negative consequences, ranging from a reduction in passenger safety to job losses in the auto industry. A boost in the combined Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) could cut U.S. foreign oil imports by as much as 1 million barrels per day and significantly reduce polluting emissions.

“We are optimistic about the number of fuel cell devices that are on the verge of commercialization and the positive impact it will have in our society” says Jim Morton, Program Director at Principia Partners. “Although product development efforts have been ongoing by a handful of pioneers, the number of companies now interested in this subject has grown substantially over the past year. The race is on, as companies develop the best performing materials and fabrication technologies to construct fuel cell systems.”

However, Principia also notes that many companies lack the information and insight needed to serve this exciting market opportunity.

Principia’s study is a detailed market assessment of traditional and new materials for fuel cells, and includes an analysis of the short- and long-term demand for each material, end market and application trends, emerging parts, processing advances, recent patents, and producer and supplier activities.

“Our goal is to provide the industry with timely and valuable information for anyone involved in the development, manufacture, and use of materials in all fuel cell applications. The study will be a valuable resource to assist business managers who are already active or considering possible entry into this high-growth business,” according to Morton.

Principia Partners is an international business consulting firm with extensive experience in plastics, metals, composites, advanced materials, and related markets. In particular, the Firm’s principals have closely monitored the markets for these materials, particularly in the automotive industry over the past ten years through various research efforts.

For more information about the new report on fuel cells, visit the company’s web site at www.principiaconsulting.com.