New Kelowna facility at forefront of zero emission truck industry

Cindy White

Original article by Cindy White on April 19th, 2023 available on Castanet.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday for the ribbon cutting ceremony at a new facility that puts Kelowna at the forefront of the zero emission truck industry.

Local dignitaries and contributors to the project were on hand for the grand opening of Hexagon Purus at Airport Business Park.

The plant will engineer and produce top-tier battery cell and hydrogen fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles.

“As an industry continues to work to find zero emission solutions to combat climate change, having Hexagon Purus here in Kelowna makes it much easier for our community to take an active role globally to move another step closer in that direction,” said Mayor Tom Dyas as he addressed the assembled crowd.

Hexagon Purus CEO Morten Holum says the new facility offers both a new opportunity and a challenge.

“The challenge is (going to the) next level. It’s an opportunity to grow and develop, it’s an opportunity to accelerate further, significantly increase your output and it’s the opportunity and the challenge to take it from kind of the ‘garage’ to the industrial stage,” Holum said.

Holum says the company’s revenue is five times larger than just two years ago. He believes it could achieve the same growth over the next couple of years.

One of the major steps has already been taken, with the announcement of a multi-year agreement with Panasonic to supply battery cells for Hexagon Purus’ proprietary battery systems from its plant in Kansas.

“Part of the supply agreement is we are committing to a $43 million contribution to Panasonic and in turn they guarantee us cell supply through 2032,” explained Todd Sloan, Hexagon Purus executive vice president.

He also announced that the truck they are helping produce will have its own brand name and will be coming to market in the fourth quarter of 2024.

“It’s a big deal. Ten-thousands trucks between now and 2030, representing approximately (US)$2 billion in revenue.”

The Kelowna micro-factory has a team of 70 employees. The state-of-the-art building has a Scandinavian design with a rooftop patio and onsite gym.