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Daimler to use Canadian fuel cells

German auto-maker will outfit its hydrogen fleet with fuel cells made in B.C.


June 6, 2011
by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

BERLIN AND VANCOUVER—Daimler will outfit its hydrogen fleet with Canadian-made fuel cells through a joint-venture with Ford and Ballard Power Systems.

The companies have created a subsidiary called the Automotive Fuel Cell Corporation (AFCC). The fuel cells will be manufactured at a facility in Burnaby, B.C.

Daimler says it will use the fuel cells for its B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus.

In Germany, initiatives like the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) have some of the automotive sector’s major players on-board.

Both Toyota and Honda recently joined BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, GM and Ford in the CEP. Chemical companies involved in hydrogen production and other stakeholders are also involved.

Germany has simultaneously created a framework for investors with public programs to support further development and implementation of fuel cell technology.

“Germany’s economy is booming and the fuel cell industry is on the verge of a major breakthrough. International companies and government initiatives have created the optimal conditions for companies to prosper, especially in Germany’s high-tech eastern regions,” said Dr. Juergen Friedrich, Chief executive of Germany Trade & Invest.

Funding of more than $1 billion has been made available so far, making the CEP the biggest program of its kind in Europe.  In May, the federal government announced funding of another $285 million for research in storage technologies including fuel cells. Germany already features more than 300 companies and 65 research institutes specializing in fuel cell technology and 70 per cent of Europe’s fuel cell fleet.