21 April 1999
Ballard Power Systems announced formation of the "California Fuel Cell Partnership." The Partnership is a collaboration between automobile manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Company), energy providers (ARCO, Shell, and Texaco), the State of California, and fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems.
The California Fuel Cell Partnership will place about 50 fuel cell vehicles on the road between 2000 and 2003. Ford and DaimlerChrysler will each initially provide five fuel cell powered passenger cars by 2001. The Partnership will work with California transit agencies to test approximately 25 buses. The vehicles will use Ballard fuel cells and will be powered with engines and electric drives developed by Ballard's alliance partners, dbb fuel cell engines inc. (dbb) and Ecostar Electric Drive Systems (Ecostar). dbb and Ecostar are part of an alliance formed between Ballard, DaimlerChrysler, and Ford to commercialize fuel cell drive trains for cars, buses and trucks.
The objective of the California Fuel Cell Partnership is to gain insight into the real-life operation of fuel cells in cars and buses. Similar to Ballard and dbb's current bus demonstration programs operating in Chicago and Vancouver, experience from the California Partnership's demonstration programs will assist in developing fuel cell vehicles that may be fueled by alternative fuels such as hydrogen or methanol.