FYI:TECH:ENERGY:Ballard and Mercedes (fwd) (long)

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 15 Apr 1997 08:26:16 +0200 (MET DST)

Fuel cells are cold, non-Carnot devices, they thus have exceedingly high
efficiencies. They differ from other electrochemical batteries by using
atmospheric air for one electrode, vastly reducing weight. Though one of
the first electrochemical effects observed, fuel cells have been
languishing in obscurity (why?) until quite recently on-board fuel
reforming and PEM electrolyte invigorated the concept. Though platinum
metal content has been reduced drastically, fuel cell, if mainstream, are
thought to increase platiunum metal prices do to enourmous demand.
Direct methanol-metabolizing fuel cells might make NiMH and
lithium-ion/polymer obsolete for powering portable devices. Recharging
could be done in seconds, by refilling the liquid fuel.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 13:12:39 -0700
From: Charles R. Toca <>
To: 'Fuel Cell Mailing List' <>
Subject: Ballard and Mercedes

For your information:

Ballard And Daimler-Benz To Invest Over $450 Million In Fuel Cell
Ventures To Develop The Next Generation Of Engines For The World's

VANCOUVER/STUTTGART, April 14 /CNW-PRN/ - Ballard Power Systems Inc. of
Canada and Daimler-Benz AG of Germany announced today that they are combining
forces and jointly investing over $450 million in fuel cell ventures to
develop the next generation of efficient and clean engines for the world's
automobiles using Ballard Fuel Cells. The two companies signed a detailed
memorandum of understanding which will result in the alliance of Ballard, the
world leader in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, with Daimler-Benz, the
quality and innovation leader in the automotive industry.
Ballard Fuel Cells are electrochemical devices which convert a fuel, such
as methanol, natural gas or hydrogen into usable electricity, directly without
combustion. Surrounding a fuel cell is a system which consists of a fuel
processor, air supply subsystem, cooling subsystem and controls. Combining
these subsystems with the fuel cell creates a fuel cell engine which can power
a car, truck, bus or other vehicle.
In the proposed transaction, Daimler-Benz will invest a total of $198
million in Ballard by contributing all of its fuel cell stack technology,
related fixed assets and $142 million in cash to Ballard in return for
5,653,664 new treasury shares of Ballard at a price of $35 per share which
will constitute 25% of Ballard's outstanding shares after the investment. In
addition, Daimler-Benz will invest a total of $207 million made up of all of
its fuel cell system technology, related fixed assets and $57 million in cash
into a new fuel cell engine company which will develop and commercialize fuel
cell systems to be supplied to the world's automotive industry as the engines
for tomorrow's automobiles in return for two-thirds of this engine company.
Ballard Power Systems will invest a total of $103 million made up of all of
its vehicular fuel cell system technology, related fixed assets and cash of
$53 million to the new fuel cell engine company for one-third ownership of the
engine company. Ballard Power Systems will supply the fuel cell engine company
with the fuel cells which will be integrated into fuel cell engines for sale.
In addition, Ballard Power Systems and the new engine company will
jointly form a new company which will market all fuel cells for vehicular
applications made by Ballard Power Systems and all fuel cell engines for
vehicular applications made by the fuel cell engine company to all of the
world's automobile, truck and bus manufacturers.
Ballard Power Systems and the new fuel cell engine company will together
spend over $200 million over the next three years to develop and commercialize
fuel cells and fuel cell engines for market introduction after the year 2000.
The transaction is subject to the approval of Ballard Power Systems'
shareholders, which will be sought at the Company's annual general meeting on
May 29, 1997, satisfactory completion of all formal agreements between the
companies and the approval of regulatory authorities. Final completion of the
transaction is expected to occur during the third quarter of 1997. Financial
advisors to the Company on this transaction were Morgan Stanley & Co.
Incorporated of New York and Goepel Shields & Partners Inc. of Vancouver.
"This relationship with Daimler-Benz is the most significant event to
occur to date in Ballard's history. It will be a catalyst for the development
of the next generation of clean and efficient automobiles, and will enable
Ballard to become a major supplier of a key automotive component," said Firoz
Rasul, Ballard's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have successfully
collaborated with Daimler-Benz over the past four years and, by joining
forces, we can together build on our technological and market lead to provide
the world automotive industry with cost effective fuel cells and fuel cell
engines for use in their vehicles."
Daimler-Benz presented the first traffic-ready passenger car vehicle
using fuel cell engine technology in 1994. At that time, the fuel cell system
took up almost the entire cargo space of the van. Only two years later, the
company launched a fuel cell car that had room for six people. The next goal
is to integrate fuel cells into the recently introduced subcompact
Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the near future.
Daimler-Benz chairman Juergen E. Schrempp sees this partnership as
further proof of the company's continuous strive for progress through
innovation. Observes Schrempp: "A provider of premium automobiles can
distinguish itself from the competition only through outstanding technological
achievements. The fuel cell is the only so-called "alternative engine" with
the potential to harmonize mobility and environmental concerns. Through the
intensified collaboration with Ballard, Daimler-Benz will further expand its
technological lead."
Dr. Ferdinand Panik, Daimler-Benz Senior Vice President and head of the
fuel cell project sees the fuel cell engine as "the alternative engine with
the greatest chance of seriously competing with the combustion engine." He
emphasizes: "Daimler-Benz wants to be the first to bring a production
automobile with fuel-cell engine technology to the market and to develop a
major business with Ballard to supply fuel cell engines to the world."
Daimler-Benz is the world's most comprehensive provider of
technologically advanced transportation products, traffic systems and services
and has 290,000 employees and revenues of approximately $70 billion.
Daimler-Benz is focused on the development and manufacture of Mercedes-Benz
cars and commercial vehicles, Freightliner trucks, rail systems, diesel
engines and 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 18,000 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).
Ballard Power Systems is the world leader in the development of proton
exchange membrane fuel cells. At the heart of its products is the Ballard Fuel
Cell, a proprietary zero-emission engine that converts natural gas, methanol,
or hydrogen fuel into electricity without combustion. Ballard Fuel Cells are
currently being used by leading international companies to develop
zero-emission vehicles and clean stationary electric power generators.
Ballard's Common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange under
the trading symbol "BLD" and on the Nasdaq National Market System under the
symbol "BLDPF".

SOURCE Ballard Power Systems Inc.
-0- 4/14/97
/CONTACT: Paul Lancaster, Ballard Power Systems Inc. (604) 454-0900 or
fax (604) 412-4700 or Michael A. Lundy, Lundy Associates, Inc. (201) 660-1100
or fax (201) 660-1104, and for media information: Debby Roman, Ballard Power
Systems Inc. (604) 412-4740 or fax (604) 412-3131 or debrom(at) or
Wolfgang Scheunemann, Daimler-Benz AG, Stuttgart, 49-711-17-93307 or fax
49-711-17-94365 or 100106.5586(at)

CO: Ballard Power Systems Inc.
ST: British Columbia


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