Thursday, June 21st, Mercedes opened its fuel cell production and technology development plant in South Burnaby.
In March 2011 the company announced it invested $53 million to transform a 3,300-square-meter area of a Ballard Power facility, in a new plant. The South Burnaby plant will produce compact next-generation fuel-cell stacks from 2013, to be exported to Germany and used in sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class.
Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, holds 50.1% of the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC), Ford Motor 30% and Ballard, which came with the fuel cell stack technology, owns 19.9%. The fuel cell stack is already being used at the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL.
“We applaud the province’s multi-faceted, forward-thinking approach that has encouraged the concentration of many brilliant minds focused on research and development in this region,” said Tim A. Reuss, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Canada. “There is no better place to open the world’s first facility dedicated to the production and production technology development of fuel cell stacks.”
The fuel cells are similar to large batteries that are powered by hydrogen creating electricity. The only emissions are water vapors and the cells are stacked together.