Audi has just taken a huge step towards integrating fuel-cell technologies in its vehicles.

Audi AG announced February 11 it has acquired a package of patents relating to fuel-cell technology from Ballard Power Systems Inc.

In addition, Audi stated the Volkswagen Group has extended its cooperation with the Canadian clean energy company until 2019.

Per Audi, the purchase of these patents will provide new impetus for the development of fuel-cell drive systems at Audi, VW and the Volkswagen Group.

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“Audi is acquiring these strategically important patents for the entire group and will make them available to all the brands,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi AG and responsible for the steering of the development departments of all brands in the VW Group. “In this way, we are securing crucial expertise that will provide new impetus for the further development of this technology.”

Ballard Power Systems Inc. is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. The company is described by Audi as one of the world’s leading companies in the technology of proton exchange membrane fuel-cells. Ballard provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel-cell programs.