Fuel Cells: Out of the News But Still in the Future

Neither Ballard nor hydrogen fuel cells went away. In fact, they are bigger than ever, as evidenced by Ballard's sprawling research-and-development and manufacturing facility in Burnaby and the importance of the technology to countries such as Japan.

Published: 04-Jun-2007

VANCOUVER, B.C. The buzz quieted more than a decade ago. But John Sheridan, president, chief executive and director of Ballard Power Systems, remembers it fondly . . . and ironically.

Ballard, born in 1979 as Ballard Research and now headquartered in Burnaby near here, had developed a technology destined to change the world. It was a hydrogen fuel cell with a proton-exchange membrane. In practical application, it would trigger a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity.

In cars and trucks, hydrogen fuel cells would mean an end to tailpipe pollution as we've come to know and hate it. It would mean less dependence on foreign oil. It would remove the automobile as a negative component in the environmental equation.


Honda has confirmed it plans a production model of the FCX Concept car unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show in three to four years.

14 hydrogen buses will be in use in Berlin by 2009 as part of HyFleet CUTE project.

TOTAL itself opened a public gas station that incorporated both gasoline and hydrogen in March of this year, which takes the place of the pilot test station that had been operating in Berlin since 2002.


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