This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 06, 2005

Ballard Aims to Commercialize Vehicle Fuel Cells by 2010

Ballard Power Systems, a participant in two of DOE's Hydrogen Learning Demonstrations, announced on March 29th that it plans to demonstrate a commercially viable fuel cell stack for hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. The company's technology "road map" sets technology targets for the durability, cost, freeze-start ability, and volumetric power density of its fuel cell stacks, targets closely aligned with the goals of DOE's Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Program. Specifically, Ballard aims to develop a fuel cell that will run for 5,000 hours, start at temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (negative 30 degrees Celsius), generate at least 2,500 net watts per liter, and cost $30 per net kilowatt when produced at a volume of 500,000 units. Over the next five years, Ballard plans to develop fuel cells embodying such technology advancements as reduced active area, improved catalyst, and increased membrane conductivity, while also capable of being manufactured at high volumes.

Ballard already has a good track record: In 2004, the company produced a fuel cell stack capable of running for 2,200 hours under real-world conditions, able to repeatedly start at 4 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and using 30 percent less platinum catalyst, a key component in fuel cell costs. See the Ballard press release (PDF 221 KB) and "road map" Web page. Download Acrobat Reader.