Mr. Guy McAree reports
BALLARD ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SDTC FUNDING TO ADVANCE FUEL CELL MODULES USED TO POWER BUSES
Ballard Power Systems Inc. has been awarded
approximately $2.0-million in financing from Sustainable Development
Technology Canada for a one-year extension to a project that is
furthering commercialization of the company's fuel cell power module
for use in the transit bus market.
In January, 2010, SDTC awarded Ballard up to $4.8-million for a
development project under which Ballard has now completed the design,
testing and implementation of new subsystems for its FCvelocity-HD6 power module. The project has improved durability and reliability
of the power module, as well as reducing its cost.
Many of these design improvements were implemented into the
B.C. Transit fuel cell hybrid bus fleet in Whistler, B.C., leading to improved overall performance. As a testament to its
operation, Whistler's 20-bus fleet has surpassed the 1.7-million-mile
(2.8-million-kilometre) threshold for revenue service to that
community, since entering service in early 2010.
"Our government is doing its part to encourage innovation and the next
wave of clean technologies to help protect our environment and create
high-quality jobs," said Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister
of Natural Resources. "Investment in projects such as these
demonstrates our leadership in driving a vibrant clean technology
industry in Canada."
Dr. Vicky Sharpe, president and chief executive officer of SDTC, said: "These improvements in
cost-effectiveness and performance of fuel cell hybrid buses will make
them more accessible to public transit authorities in Canada. Since
heavy-duty diesel vehicles account for almost half of greenhouse gas
emissions emanating from Canada's roads, cleaner buses can be a
significant help in improving air quality."
During the project extension, to run through October, 2013, Ballard will
focus on standardization of certain product components and optimization
of the power module's balance-of-plant-and-control systems to
further reduce cost, as well as improve manufacturability of the FCvelocity-HD6.
Tony Guglielmin, Ballard chief financial officer, said: "We appreciate the continued support
of the Canadian federal government and SDTC, which is certainly helping
accelerate product cost reductions. In turn, this enables more
competitive positioning relative to incumbent diesel buses, which will
further the adoption of clean energy fuel cell products for mass
transit in Canada, the U.S., Europe and other locations around the
We seek Safe Harbor.