SFC Setting the Pace for the Fuel Cell Industry

Frost + Sullivan announced today that it has presented its 2008 Market Leadership Award to SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG in recognition of SFC's success in fuel cell commercialization, first-mover market status and significant progress in 2007.

“SFC has set the pace for the fuel cell industry,” said Sara Bradford, Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Director. “By combining low-cost materials and lean production techniques, SFC has successfully reduced the manufacturing costs for direct methanol fuel cells. Additionally, the company has demonstrated strong growth and a proven business model, including the industry’s first commercial product line supported by numerous distribution partners.”

Based in Brunnthal, Germany, SFC develops and sells direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and systems for the leisure, marine, defense, security, measurement and instrumentation, consumer electronics and other industries.

SFC’s commercially proven business strategy focuses on product readiness, liquid fuel infrastructure and significant customer market traction. The publicly traded company has sold nearly 10,000 fuel cell systems, and over the last three years its revenues have grown more than 122 percent, compounded annually.

The company’s EFOY brand fuel cells are providing power for recreational vehicles, yachts, vacation homes, traffic monitoring systems, observation stations, measurement- and early-warning stations, light electric vehicles, defense and other applications.

“This Market Leadership Award highlights our success in commercializing reliable and efficient alternative energy systems for our expanding global customer base,” said Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC. “It also reflects the fact that our hybrid product strategy has paved the way for fuel cells into fast growing consumer, industrial and defense markets.”

The EFOY fuel cell units provide between 600 to 1,600 watt-hours per day. By combining the benefits of fuel cell technology and hybrid systems with conventional battery or solar power, SFC’s EFOY system has overcome market entry barriers that traditionally have slowed the adoption of fuel cells for many applications.

“A key challenge for the portable fuel cell industry overall has been to identify efficient distribution strategies for refueling cartridges. SFC has embraced this issue, and has effectively developed a flexible and scalable solution to address their leisure, industrial and defense customers,” Bradford said.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated global excellence in a given business function such as sales, marketing, customer service, technology innovation, product quality, supply chain management, and growth strategy. Leveraging best practices in the company to all global units is a major metric in the Award selection process. Frost & Sullivan, through this exhaustive selection process, seeks to identify a recipient that has exhibited global excellence in its operations, resulting in sustained financial growth.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

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