Ballard and DaimlerChrysler Unveil Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Demonstration Vehicle

Companies demonstrate small, one-person vehicle powered by direct methanol fuel cell.

Published: 09-Nov-2000

Ballard Power Systems Inc. announced today that DaimlerChrysler demonstrated a Ballard Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) prototype at DaimlerChrysler's Innovation Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany.

The fuel cell was used to power a small one-person demonstration vehicle. DMFC is proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology that permits the use of methanol as fuel without requiring a fuel processor to extract hydrogen from the methanol.

"Ballard is leading in the development of all aspects of proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology, including direct methanol fuel cells," said Dr. Alfred Steck, Ballard's Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer. "We are now beginning to refine direct methanol technology for use outside the laboratory in applications ranging from portable and stationary power to transportation. With this demonstration, Ballard has achieved another one of its stated goals for 2000."

The three-kilowatt system is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the research groups of DaimlerChrysler and Ballard.

This demonstration follows DaimlerChrysler's public unveiling on November 7, 2000 of the NECAR 5 prototype automobile in Berlin, Germany. The NECAR 5 utilizes methanol as a fuel with an advanced fuel processor and system developed by XCELLSIS GmbH to supply hydrogen to a Ballard Mark 900 fuel cell. The fuel cell powers a Mercedes A Class automobile, with five passengers and their luggage, to over 90 miles per hour (150 km/h). XCELLSIS is a jointly held company of DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Ballard.

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