Firm Details Increasing Orders on the Natural Gas Side
Quantum Fuel Systems (NASDAQ:QTWW) is talking up a new and improved compressed natural gas fuel cylinder line dubbed Q-Lite, and says it’s expanding production capability for the Type IV tanks at a time when the natural gas vehicles side of its business is faring better than the hybrid electric segment.
Quantum says that its planned facility expansion Lake Forest, Calif. is expected to double its current production capacity “by setting up state-of-the art manufacturing lines at a 60,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing 30,000-square-foot factory.” The company has disclosed a $3.25 million capital lease financing arrangement with Amur Investment to help pay for the improvements. They are to be completed next year.
The new Q-Lite Type IV tank is “aimed at creating sizeable new opportunities within the heavy duty long-haul and medium duty vehicle segments, among others,” Quantum says, claiming a “next generation of proprietary advanced fuel storage technology.”
Q-Lite: Lighter and Better
State-of-the-art materials and innovative design characteristics contribute to the improvements, as well as “dematerialization and application of new generation materials, by leveraging Quantum’s technology leadership in extreme high pressure hydrogen storage.”
“The Q-Lite technology is the first in a planned series of advanced fuel system technologies enabling broader scale adoption through lighter weight and more robust storage systems,” president and CEO Brian Olson said in a release.
Q-Lite features a “unique one-piece lightweight liner system that maximizes storage capacity, and new generation shock absorbers and a highly optimized corrosion and fatigue-resistant structural shell that incorporates high strength lightweight aluminum fittings.” Vehicle mounting is thus made simpler, resulting in overall reduction in fuel system weight.
Quantum said earlier this month that product revenues from lightweight CNG fuel storage tanks and systems increased by $5 million, or 133%, over the first nine months of 2012 as compared to similar periods in the prior year. But, “these improvements were offset by a reduction in product sales of component shipments to (high-end plug-in hybrid electric vehicle developer) Fisker Automotive in the current year as compared to similar periods in the prior year.”
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Source: multiple Quantum releases with Fleets & Fuels follow-up