Ballard's Burnaby facility
Ballard Power Systems has entered into an agreement to collaborate with Mahle, a leading international development partner and supplier to the commercial vehicle and automotive industry, on the development and commercialisation of zero-emission fuel cell systems to provide primary propulsion power in various classes of commercial trucks.
Founded in Germany in 1920, the Mahle Group employs approximately 77,000 people, working at 160 production locations and 16 research and development centres around the globe, and generates annual sales of approximately EUR12 billion (USD14 billion). Its commercial vehicle division supplies a broad range of products to truck and other OEMs, including power cells, valves and camshafts, engine cooling components, fuel and oil management systems, electronics and mechatronics.
Jorg Stratmann, chairman and CEO of Mahle, says: "Hydrogen and fuel cells are a cornerstone of CO2-neutral mobility, particularly with regard to road transport. This collaboration brings together Mahle's strength in the automotive Tier 1 value chain and our vast expertise in the fuel cell periphery with Ballard's industry leadership in PEM fuel cell technology and systems."
Separately, Ballard has announced that it is expanding manufacturing capacity for production of its proprietary membrane electrode assemblies ( MEAs), a critical component of every fuel cell.
Production will be increased six-fold by early 2021, to 6 million MEAs annually, equivalent to approximately 1.66 Gigawatts of product, making Ballard's Vancouver facility the largest fuel cell MEA production operation globally for commercial vehicles.
Lee Sweetland, Ballard director of advanced manufacturing, says the capacity expansion is being enabled in part through investment in advanced manufacturing technology, together with the extensive use of automation and in-line quality control to drive high yields for product assembly. "We are also integrating systems, from the supply chain throughout our manufacturing process, including a manufacturing execution system to enhance available data and streamline production."