VANCOUVER -- Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems has been awarded approximately C$2.0 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to extend a project for the commercialization of the Company's fuel cell power module for the transit bus market.
In January 2010, SDTC awarded Ballard up to C$4.8 million for a development project to complete the design, testing and implementation of new sub-systems 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 successfully implemented into the BC Transit fuel cell hybrid bus fleet in Whistler, British Columbia, 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.
Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC said, 'These improvements in cost-effectiveness and performance of fuel cell hybrid buses will make them more accessible to public transit authorities inCanada. 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 in order to further reduce cost as well as improve manufacturability of the FCvelocity™-HD6.
Tony Guglielmin, Ballard CFO noted the extension 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.
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications.