Yahoo - Daimler-Benz, Ford and Ballard to Join Forces to Develop Fuel-Cell Technology for Future Vehicles



Here's some excellent background info on Fuel Cells...

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/971215/daimler_benz_1.html


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> Monday December 15, 1997 - 9:05 am Eastern Time
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> Company Press Release
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> Daimler-Benz, Ford and Ballard to Join Forces to Develop Fuel-Cell Technology for Future Vehicles
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> STUTTGART, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 1997--A significant global alliance to develop fuel cell technology was announced today among three leaders in the field - Ballard Power Systems of Canada, Daimler-Benz AG and Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F - news].
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> The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding today in Stuttgart, with the expectation that final agreement will be reached within a few months.
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> The agreement would ally two of the world's foremost companies in automotive technology with the fuel cell industry's leading developer and manufacturer, in order to accelerate the development of fuel-cell-powered components for cars and trucks.
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> Jurgen E. Schrempp, Chief Executive Officer of Daimler-Benz, expressly welcomed the new alliance and stated, ``This cooperation is impressive evidence of the fact that the fuel cell represents a serious and promising alternative to the conventional combustion engine.''
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> ``Ford sees this partnership as a natural complementation of talent, skills and technology among the three companies,'' said Ford Chairman Alex Trotman. ``We have been working on fuel cell technology for several years and view it as one of the most important technologies for the early 21st century. With our collaborative efforts, there will be a greater likelihood of earlier feasible results.''
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> Firoz Rasul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ballard, said, ``Through Ballard's relationship with Ford and Daimler-Benz, we have the strength, resources and commitment to bring the fuel cells to volume commercial production.''
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> Ballard Power Systems is the world leader in the development of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Daimler-Benz has unique expertise in research into alternative drive systems and automotive fuels. Ford is known for its electric vehicle powertrain technology.
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> Fuel cells, which generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen to power vehicles, have the potential to provide the size, range, roominess and speed of conventional cars and trucks while emitting little more than water vapor into the atmosphere. The alliance aims to have functional cars and trucks developed by 2005.
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> According to the agreement, Ballard will be responsible for fuel cells, with Daimler-Benz and Ford holding 20% and 15% of Ballard Power Systems Inc. [Nasdaq:BLDPF - news], respectively.
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> Daimler-Benz will be the majority owner of DBB Fuel Cell Engines GmbH, responsible for fuel cell systems, with Ballard and Ford holding about 26% and 23% respectively.
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> Ford will be the majority owner of a new company responsible for electric drivetrain systems, with Ballard and Daimler-Benz owning 19% each. Ford's total investment in the partnership will be about Can. $600 million (U.S. $420 million), comprised of cash, technology and assets.
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> Background Technical Information:
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> Fuel cell applications range from small, portable emergency electricity-generating power plants, distributed power plants in the range up to one megawatt in size and engines to power cars, buses, trucks, rail vehicles and ships to satellites and space stations. The major advantage of this technology is that it offers low - or even zero - emission levels for a higher degree of efficiency.
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> A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that produces electricity silently and without combustion. Hydrogen fuel, which can be obtained from natural gas or methanol, and oxygen from the air are electrochemically combined in a fuel cell to produce electricity and heat with pure water as the only by-product. It is important to prevent the two gases coming into direct contact and they are therefore separated by means of an electrolyte membrane. The various types of fuel cell are identified by the different electrolytes used.
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> A PEM fuel cell consists of two electrodes, the anode and the cathode, separated by a polymer electrolyte. Each of the electrodes is coated on one side with a platinum catalyst. Hydrogen fuel dissociates into free electrons and protons (positive hydrogen ions) in the presence of the platinum catalyst at the anode. The free electrons are conducted in the form of usable electric current through the external circuit.
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> The protons migrate through the membrane electrolyte to the cathode. At the cathode, oxygen from the air, electrons from the external circuit and protons combine to form pure water and heat, to obtain the desired amount of electrical-power-generated individual fuel cells in a stack. Increasing the number of cells in a stack increases the voltage, while increasing the surface area of the cells increases the current.
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> Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are best suited for mobile applications -- cars or buses -- because of their operating temperatures of between 20 and 100 degrees centigrade and their high power density. They can be operated with hydrogen derived from fuels such as methanol or natural gas and with oxygen derived from normal air. PEMFCs have been demonstrated in transportation, stationary and portable power applications.
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> Daimler-Benz is the world's most comprehensive provider of technologically advanced transportation products, systems and services, and has over 300,000 employees and revenues of approximately $70 billion. Daimler-Benz is focused on the development and manufacture of Mercedes-Benz cars and commercial vehicles, Freightliner and Sterling trucks as well as Adtranz rail systems, MTU diesel engines and TEMIC microelectronics. Daimler-Benz Aerospace builds aircraft and space systems and Daimler-Benz InterServices provides leasing and sales financing, mobile communications and information technologies. North America, where Daimler-Benz employs more than 20,000 people, is the largest regional market outside of Europe and accounts for approximately 20 percent of worldwide revenues. In 1993, Daimler-Benz became the first German company to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: DAI).
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> An event photo of today is available under: http://www.daimler-benz.com/presse/foto.htm from 12:00 pm EST on Monday, December 15
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> Contact:
>
>      Daimler-Benz AG
>      Roland Klein
>      Phone: +49 711 17-93635, Fax: -94686
>         or
>      Daimler-Benz North America Corporation
>      Bernhard Harling
>      Phone: (212) 909-9717, Fax: (212) 308-4252
>
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> More Quotes    * Ballard Power Systems Inc (Nasdaq:BLDPF - news)
> and News:      * Daimler-Benz AG (NYSE:DAI - news)
>                * Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F - news)
> Related News Categories: automobiles, transportation
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--
Pat
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    Patrick  Salsbury                    ClariNet Communications Corp.
    patrick at clari dot net | 408-296-0366 x131 | http://www.clari.net/~patrick/

  Many years ago, I first drank from the Well of Knowledge. Now, I maintain
     the pumps on that Well, so that others may also quench their thirst.






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