Ballard will deliver the 205 kW heavy-duty fuel cell engines in the first half of 2004 and the buses will be placed in routine transit operation in the second half of 2004 as part of a two-year demonstration program.
Ballard Power Systems (TSX:BLD) (NASDAQ:BLDP) will provide three of its latest generation heavy-duty fuel cell engines to EvoBus for integration into Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses for the public transport system in Perth, Western Australia. Ballard will deliver the 205 kW heavy-duty fuel cell engines in the first half of 2004 and the buses will be placed in routine transit operation in the second half of 2004 as part of a two-year demonstration program.
'Ballard is proud to add Perth as the twelfth city committed to demonstrating Ballard(R) fuel cell engines in transit bus applications,'said Dennis Campbell, Ballard's President and Chief Executive Officer. 'This brings to 36 the number of buses, powered with Ballard(R) fuel cells, to be placed in revenue service with transit agencies around the world over the next two years. These fleet demonstration programs provide the opportunity for thousands of people to experience the smooth, quiet and pollution-free performance of a fuel cell transit bus.'
The Western Australian Government is leading this project and is providing the majority of the program funding. The buses will operate as part of the Transperth public transport system by Path Transit. The purpose of the demonstration program is to determine the critical technical, environmental, economic and social factors that need consideration in the introduction of hydrogen fueled fuel cell buses. The Perth program is also structured to examine what government and private sector systems are needed to support a hydrogen-based energy system.
'Western Australia has a strong commitment to developing alternative transport energy sources,'said Ms. Alannah MacTiernan, Western Australia's Planning and Infrastructure Minister. 'Hydrogen fuel cell technology has extraordinary potential to reduce our oil dependency and improve environmental outcomes. This fuel cell demonstration program that we are conducting in partnership with globally recognized technology leaders is a key element of Western Australia's Sustainable Transport Energy Program.'
In addition to the three fuel cell buses to be demonstrated in Perth, 30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses equipped with 205 kW heavy-duty Ballard(R) fuel cell engines will be on the road in ten European cities, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Porto, Reykjavik, Stockholm and Stuttgart. Ballard will also deliver three heavy-duty fuel cell engines to Gillig Corporation for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. All 36 fuel cell buses will be driven by transit drivers, and will carry passengers on regular routes in daily service in each city as part of a two-year demonstration program.
Since 1993, Ballard has produced and tested five generations of heavy-duty fuel cell bus engines. Successful field demonstrations of Ballard(R) fuel cell powered buses in Chicago, Vancouver and Palm Springs have played an integral role in advancing Ballard's fuel cell engine technology.