Ballard Power Systems’ (TSX: BLD; NASDAQ: BLDP) Chairman and Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, John Sheridan, was in Beijing, China today, along with representatives from Ballard’s Alliance partner, DaimlerChrysler, and Chinese industry and government officials, to attend the launch of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses. The buses, powered with Ballard® heavy-duty fuel cell engines, will enter revenue service in the city as part of a two-year demonstration project being led by the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology, with support from both the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Program.
“Governments and regions around the world are assembling the building blocks of the hydrogen economy in fuel cell vehicle demonstrations,” said Mr. Sheridan. “Fuel cells and hydrogen can play a critical role in the development of a sustainable transportation strategy in China. Fleet demonstrations, like the one here in Beijing, will seed the market and will provide many people with the opportunity to experience first-hand the clean, quiet and comfortable ride of zero-emission transportation alternatives.”
The fuel cell bus program will support China’s ability to use hydrogen as a clean, efficient, safe and sustainable energy resource. The purpose of the project is to support the development of fuel cell technology and to demonstrate the viability of fuel cell power for day-to-day operation of transit buses under specific climatic and topographical conditions.
“China, with its booming economy and the fastest growing auto market in the world, is in a perfect position to be an important leader in making fuel cell technology the ultimate zero-emission automotive solution,” continued Mr. Sheridan. “Fuel cells – and fuel cells alone - address the challenges of energy security, diminishing oil reserves, urban air quality and energy efficiency. China is to be commended for its leadership and commitment to zero emission urban transit.”