Ballard Power Systems has become the first dedicated fuel cell company to power buses for more than 10 million cumulative kilometres of revenue service.

The distance is the equivalent of circling the Earth 250 times.

This fuel cell industry milestone has been achieved across the Canadian company’s seven generations of its FCveloCity® fuel cell engine, which has been deployed in buses in 15 countries on five continents during the past decade.

Today, Ballard FCveloCity engines are powering more than 80 buses around the globe in countries such as Germany, Norway, the UK, China, the US, Brazil and India, with a plethora of orders already in the pipeline.

Ballard’s President and CEO Randy MacEwan said the achievement is a major industry and corporate milestone, highlighting, “We are moving beyond technical validation into commercial scaling at a time where market demand is at a breakthrough inflection point.”

Ongoing development

Ballard is continuing ongoing shipments to fulfill additional requirements of partner Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. for more than 300 buses in Foshan and Yunfu, China. The company also secured an order from OEM Solaris Bus & Coach recently for engines to power buses in Riga, Latvia, and it is continuing its development programme for 200kW engines to power urban light rail vehicles for China’s CRRC Corporation Ltd., the world’s largest train manufacturer.

Ballard has reduced the product cost of its fuel cell engine by 75% over the past 10 years and has improved the engine reliability, durability and performance of the plug-and-play solution.

In addition, FCveloCity-MD 30kW and FCveloCity-HD 60kW product extensions have been added to Ballard’s FCveloCity-HD 85kW product in the past year to broaden its transport application range; from smaller commercial vehicles and eight metre buses up to large articulated buses.

Dr. Kevin Colbow, Vice-President – Technology and Product Development, explained, “We are extremely pleased with the evolution of our fuel cell engine development work and with the widespread implementation of demonstration programmes around the globe over the past 10 years. We are strongly positioned for rapid growth in scaled commercial revenue service deployments now underway and planned in China, Europe and the US.”