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Ecotality buys Fuel Cell Store

Acquisition should help develop market for Ecotality's hydrogen fuel generator for fuel cells.

Ecotality, a maker of onboard hydrogen fuel generators, has acquired Fuel Cell Store, Ecotality announced Thursday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquired online fuel cell retailer currently has distributors in Japan, Russia, Italy and Portugal, as well as in the U.S.

Ecotality said in a statement that the deal will help expand its relationships with universities and leading fuel cell manufacturers as well as the hydrogen technology industry.

More to the point, Fuel Cell Store's network of distributors and retailers could help Ecotality develop customers for its Hydratus, a type of generator used to power . The Hydratus is an onboard hydrogen fuel generator that works from magnesium pellets and water. It can be used to power either hydrogen fuel cell vehicles or vehicles with conventional engines that have been converted to run on hydrogen. The magnesium used in the process is about 98 percent renewable and water is its only by-product.

Ecotality showcased a municipal concept bus to promote the company's projects in February. It did not have the Hydratus installed but promoted hydrogen fuel as a viable energy alternative. Hydrogen fuel cell buses outfitted with the system will cost about $500,000 on the commercial market, according to a company estimate.