Ballard expands presence in Europe with fuel cell bus order

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Source: GLOBE Foundation

Ballard Power Systems has signed an equipment supply agreement with Van Hool NV, Europe's fourth largest bus manufacturer, for 21 of the company's latest-generation FCvelocityTM-HD6 fuel cell power modules.

The 21 FCvelocityTM-HD6 modules will power zero-emission buses to be deployed in several European cities, which will be named following completion of the associated contracts between Van Hool and public transit authorities in these cities. It is expected that the majority of the modules will be shipped in 2012.

Van Hool is a Belgian-based independent bus, coach and industrial vehicle OEM with a long history of innovation in bus manufacturing. The company previously engineered and produced five hybrid fuel cell buses, using Ballard power modules, for deployment in Oslo, Norway.

Mr. Leopold Van Hool, Managing Director of the company said, 'We are very pleased to be utilizing Ballard fuel cell modules, building on its proven track record of reliability and durability. These modules are compact and offer integration flexibility, while delivering the high performance required for heavy duty city buses. Ballard's commitment to the European fuel cell bus market is second to none.'

These bus deployments are being supported by European Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) funding provided under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) program, which is a part of Europe's Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) Plan. The SET Plan provides a framework to accelerate development and deployment of cost-effective low carbon and zero-emission technologies.

John Sheridan, Ballard's President and CEO added, 'This agreement represents an important step toward fuel cell bus commercialization and strengthens our position with Van Hool in the fuel cell bus market. Moreover, it is a strong indicator of positive growth potential for clean fuel cell-powered buses within the larger global transit marketplace.'

Ballard's sixth generation FCvelocityTM-HD6 fuel cell module features a control unit which interfaces with a system controller to make this a 'plug-and-play' product for any fuel cell or hybrid fuel cell bus platform.

The module also offers significant advances in durability, power density and fuel efficiency compared to earlier generation products. Ballard has actively participated in previous successful European fuel cell hybrid bus field tests, including the CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) and HyFLEET:CUTE projects.

About Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products are based on proprietary esencia™ technology, ensuring incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, visit www.ballard.com

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