Ballard Power Systems Inc.

Ballard Power Systems Inc.

March 29, 2005 16:05 ET

Ballard Power Systems: Commercially Viable Fuel Cell Stack Technology Ready by 2010


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC.

TSX SYMBOL: BLD
NASDAQ SYMBOL: BLDP

MARCH 29, 2005 - 16:05 ET

Ballard Power Systems: Commercially Viable Fuel Cell
Stack Technology Ready by 2010

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2005) - Ballard
Power Systems (TSX:BLD)(NASDAQ:BLDP)

Technology "Road Map" Outlines Path to Commercially Viable Automotive
Fuel Cell Stack Technology within Five Years

Commercially viable fuel cell stack technology for hydrogen-powered
vehicles can be demonstrated by 2010, according to a Technology "Road
Map" released today by Ballard Power Systems (TSX:BLD)(NASDAQ:BLDP). The
"Road Map", announced to coincide with the start of the National
Hydrogen Association's Annual Hydrogen Conference in Washington, D.C.,
comprises four technology trendlines and targets for fuel cell stack
durability, cost, freeze start and volumetric power density. It is
widely agreed that demonstrating the ability to meet the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE) targets for these four performance attributes is key to
the successful commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology.

"Ever since Ballard stack technology was first introduced into a
customer vehicle demonstration in 1993, timing of commercial fuel cell
deployment has been the number one question for consumers, investors and
policymakers. With today's release of our Technology 'Road Map', we're
making a public commitment that Ballard will demonstrate the commercial
viability of automotive fuel cell stack technology by 2010," said Dennis
Campbell, Ballard's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ballard's Technology "Road Map" is closely aligned with the performance
targets and timeline set by the DOE in its Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and
Infrastructure Technologies Program's Multi-Year Research, Development
and Demonstration Plan.

The "Road Map" will serve as a yardstick for measuring Ballard's
progress over the next five years as it advances toward delivering a
demonstration in 2010 of commercially viable automotive fuel cell stack
technology with the following characteristics:

- 5,000 hours of lifetime;

- freeze start capability to -30 degrees C;

- volumetric power density of 2,500 Watts net/liter; and

- fuel cell stack cost of US $30/kWnet at a volume of 500,000 units

"Our targets are aggressive, but achievable. By laying out our detailed
five year technology plans, Ballard is again demonstrating its
commitment to setting the standard and leading the way to proton
exchange membrane fuel cell commercialization," said Mr. Campbell. "With
our technology 'road map' we've set the course, a course to the post-oil
hydrogen future."


Ballard's release of its Technology "Road Map" is the latest in a series
of recent developments in the advancement of fuel cell technology.

- In February, Ballard announced significant progress in three elements
critical to the commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology -
freeze start capability, increased durability and cost reduction - a
first-ever announcement of improvements in each area, in a single stack
design, without any compromise in performance.

- Earlier this month, U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Lindsay
Graham (R-SC) introduced the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Act of 2005, a
comprehensive 10-year initiative aimed at accelerating programs that
will trigger widespread commercialization and adoption of hydrogen and
fuel cell technology.

- Also this month, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) introduced a second piece
of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls for a
five-year investment tax credit to lower the procurement cost of
non-vehicular fuel cells.

The Road to Commercialization

Over the next five years, Ballard plans to demonstrate its technology
leadership in fuel cell stack demonstration units of between three and
five kWs that embody technology advancements such as reduced active
area, improved catalyst, increased membrane conductivity and high volume
manufacturing processes that are required to meet a cost target of $30
USD/kWnet in 2010. Most importantly, Ballard also plans to concurrently
demonstrate advances in durability, volumetric power density and
operational characteristics, such as freeze start, necessary to meet
customer requirements for internal combustion engine performance
equivalency.

Ballard's Technology "Road Map" builds on the advancements achieved with
its Technology Hat Trick. In 2004, Ballard demonstrated, in a single
stack design, significant progress in three areas most critical to
advancing fuel cells along the path to commercialization:

- freeze start: 50 consecutive starts from -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)

- durability: more than 2,200 hours of operation, employing a drive
cycle testing protocol that simulated real world driving; and

- cost: the stack design incorporated a 30% reduction - from 1 mg/cm2 to
0.7 mg/cm2 - in platinum catalyst loading with no reduction in
performance.

Ballard's Technology "Road Map" Targets

Durability

For tomorrow's consumer of fuel cell powered vehicles, durability means
delivering the same level of performance and reliability they expect
from today's internal combustion technology. Ballard has already
demonstrated, using real drive cycle testing, more than 2,200 hours of
durability in technology demonstration, equivalent to 100,000 kilometers
under regular driving conditions. Ballard's target for 2010 is 5,000
hours.

To view a chart of the Fuel Cell Stack Durability, please click on the
link below:

http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/bld329a.pdf

Freeze Start

Managing the water produced by fuel cells presents a challenge in
freezing temperatures and, as such, to the commercialization of fuel
cell technology. Ballard has already achieved fuel cell stack start-up
at -20 degrees C, within 100 seconds, to 50% of the rated power for the
stack. Ballard's 2010 target for stack freeze start is -30 degrees C, in
30 seconds, to 50% rated power.

To view a chart of the Fuel Cell Stack Freeze Start Capability, please
click on the link below:

http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/bld329b.pdf

Volumetric Power Density

Reduction in volumetric power density is the ability to package the fuel
cell stack into increasingly smaller spaces within a vehicle. Ballard's
target of 2,500 Watts net/Liter is more aggressive than the DOE's target
of 2,000 Watts net/Liter, and will go a long way towards liberating the
true design potential of fuel cells in future automotive designs.

To view a chart of the Fuel Cell Stack Power Density, please click on
the link below:

http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/bld329c.pdf

Cost

The cost of automotive fuel cells will need to be competitive with
today's internal combustion engines for the technology to be adopted
widely. The DOE's target cost for commercial introduction of a fuel cell
system in 2010 is $45 USD/kW of net system power at a volume of 500,000
units. This target is divided between the fuel cell stack ($30
USD/kWnet) and the supporting balance of plant ($15 USD/kWnet).
Ballard's target cost for the fuel cell stack is $30 USD/kWnet by 2010.
Stack technology innovation, new materials development and system
optimization are the drivers for achieving this cost target.

To view a chart of the Fuel Cell Stack Cost, please click on the link
below:

http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/bld329d.pdf

About Ballard

Ballard Power Systems is recognized as the world leader in developing,
manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane fuel
cells. Ballard's mission is to develop fuel cell power as a practical
alternative to internal combustion engines through technology
leadership. To learn more about what Ballard is doing with Power to
Change the World®, visit www.ballard.com.

For further information, or to arrange an interview with a Ballard
spokesperson, please call Rebecca Young or Michelle Cormack at
604-454-0900. The charts included in this press release are posted on
Ballard's corporate website at www.ballard.com. The DOE's Multi-Year
Research, Development and Demonstration Plan is posted on the
Department's website at www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/mypp/.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the
beliefs of Ballard's management and reflect Ballard's current
expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of
1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of
1934, as amended. When used in this release, the words "estimate",
"project", "believe", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "plan",
"predict", "may", "should", "will", the negative of these words or such
other variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to
identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current
views of Ballard with respect to future events based on currently
available information and are subject to risks and uncertainties that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated
in those forward-looking statements. Ballard, the Ballard logo, Nexa and
Power to Change the World are registered trademarks of Ballard Power
Systems Inc.


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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Ballard Power Systems
    Rebecca Young
    (604) 454-0900
    or
    Ballard Power Systems
    Michelle Cormack
    (604) 454-0900
    www.ballard.com