Photo courtesy of Worthington Industries

Photo courtesy of Worthington Industries

Worthington Industries, Inc. has signed a multi-year contract with Teijin Engineering to supply Type III, composite hydrogen cylinders to a major Japanese automaker for a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

The Nov. 30 agreement between Worthington's Alternative Fuels business and Teijin Engineering of Osaka, Japan, will be to supply cylinders for automobiles in the Japanese market in early 2016 and the domestic market around the middle of 2016.

The company has been working with this OEM as an exclusive supplier for the past 12 years on various versions of hydrogen cylinders and different vehicle models as well, said Wayne Powers, general manager of Worthington's Alternative Fuels business.

“We’ve also performed research and development work on hydrogen programs with select OEMs in the European market," he said. "We’ve worked with Volvo and Honda America in both CNG as well as hydrogen."

While most hydrogen fueling stations reside in California, Powers still believes that there will be an increase in demand for these zero-emission vehicles.

“On the West Coast, there’s a number of industrial and gas companies that are looking to expand that infrastructure up the entire west coast,” he said. “We’ll continue to see hydrogen grow as a result of those infrastructure investments. That being said, I think hydrogen’s got a ways to go to catch up to EVs or hybrids or even CNG vehicles.”

Worthington has been doing business with Teijin for more than 20 years, and this new deal further solidifies their relationship.

“Our work with Teijin over the years has allowed us to build a confidence between the two organizations that is based upon a mutual respect of the culture of each of the companies, as well as the respective cultures of the countries in which each of those entities operate," he said. "Both companies pride themselves on the Golden Rule, and I see our partnership lasting for quite some time into the future."