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Ballard Power Systems Inc
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Close 2013-02-15 C$ 0.68
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Ballard Power receives $2-million financing for modules

2013-02-15 19:06 ET - News Release

Mr. Guy McAree reports


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 globe."

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