Chrysler-Daimler merger to hasten dawn of fuel cells.

Found this in today's ClariNews. NOW I know why Ballard's stock
quintupled last year! :-)


>                    Chrysler-Daimler merger to hasten dawn of fuel
> [Image]
>                                               Story from AFP / Gerard
>  Related topics:                                             Aziakou
>                    Thursday,                 Copyright 1998 by Agence
>  o biz.industry.ene14-May-1998 9:36AM    France-Presse (via ClariNet)
>  o biz.industry.aut----------------------------------------------------
>  o biz.mergers
>                    DETROIT, Michigan, May 14 (AFP) - The merger of US
>                    automaker Chrysler with Germany's Daimler-Benz will
> Related Links:     hasten development of "green" cars powered by
> For additional     efficient fuel cells that extract hydrogen from
> information, use   liquid fuels, industry analysts said.
> these links or
> links in the       The two companies have been separately spearheading
> article.           research into fuel cell technology, a revolutionary
> o  Autos: Test     electric power-generating system billed as the most
>    Drive           promising alternative to the internal combustion
> o  Electric Power  engine.
>    Research
>    Institute       Daimler has been testing a fuel-cell prototype
>                    based on a small Mercedes A-class subcompact car,
> o  Environmental   while Chrysler is developing a fuel processor that
>    Protection      can extract hydrogen from gasoline aboard the
>    Agency          vehicle.
> o  Turbozine
> o  Wieck Photo     "It's a very important initiative for us," said
>    Database:       Steve Rossi, a New Jersey-based spokesman for
>    Mercedes-Benz   Daimler-Benz. But he could not say how the proposed
>                    merger would affect the project.
> Search the         At Chrysler, spokesman Scott Fosgard kept mum on
> Internet:          future collaboration in the field. Next year,
> No search forms    Chrysler engineers expect to unveil a demonstration
> to fill out:       engine that is 90 percent cleaner than an internal
> these links lead   combustion engine and improves fuel efficiency by
> straight to        50 percent.
> results pages at
> various search     But industry analysts agree that the
> sites.             Daimler-Chrysler union eventually will bring a
>                    joint collaboration in the technology, at a time
> Search the Web     when other carmakers -- notably General Motors and
> Search the Web     Toyota -- are racing to put their own fuel cell
> for pages          cars on the road by the middle of the next decade.
> related to this
> article.           "There's tremendous potential there for both
> o  HotBot          companies (Chrysler and Daimler) to hook up in this
> o  Infoseek        very exciting technology and thus save on research
>                    costs," said Eric Hood, a Detroit-based auto
> Search Web News    analyst.
> Sites
> Search various     Hood told AFP that prospects for commercial fuel
> news sites on      cell applications were more promising in Europe and
> the Web for        Japan where carmakers face of strong regulatory
> recent web pages   pressure to churn out more eco-friendly,
> related to this    fuel-efficient cars.
> article.
>                    "In this country, political pressure to build
> o  Excite          greener cars is not strong enough because gasoline
> o  Infoseek        is so cheap. Until the market drives it (the
>                    pressure) we're not going to see a lot more than
>                    research," he added.
>                    Analysts said Daimler-Benz is likely to be keenly
>                    interested in Chrysler's unique approach to fuel
>                    cell development.
>                    While rivals rely on methanol or kerosene as the
>                    power source for the fuel cell, Chrysler uses
>                    gasoline, from which hydrogen is extracted and
>                    combined with oxygen from the air to produce
>                    electricity, heat, water vapor -- but virtually no
>                    pollution.
>                    "From a technological standpoint, this makes the
>                    most sense because it does not require a change in
>                    infrastructure (gasoline is already available),
>                    said Hood.
>                    "The key is getting fuel cell costs down to where
>                    they ought to be and that still requires a lot of
>                    work," he noted.
>                    Last summer, Daimler-Benz bought a 20 percent stake
>                    in Ballard Power Systems, a company based in
>                    Burnaby, British Columbia, which is the
>                    acknowledged world leader in fuel cell development.
>                    A few months later Ford also bought 15 percent of
>                    Ballard, joining the alliance to develop and
>                    mass-produce smog-free engines powered by Ballard's
>                    hydrogen fuel cells.
>                    Chrysler is also a customer of Ballard, from which
>                    it bought fuel cells for its experimental hybrid
>                    engine.
>                    Ballard President Firoz Rasul has hailed the
>                    Daimler-Chrysler marriage as "good news" that
>                    should expand Ballard's relationship with Chrysler.
>                    ----------------------------------------------------
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