March 2014

Welcome to this issue of The Fuel Cell Advantage, where you’ll find the latest on how we are putting fuel cells to work in commercial applications everyday.

In this issue:

  • Q&A with Kevin Colbow, Vice President of Engineering Services on Ballard’s comprehensive support portfolio
  • New video featuring Ballard’s ElectraGen™ backup power systems
  • Ballard reports strong 2013 results
  • Announcement of new Chief Commercial Officer
  • Walmart expands deployments of fuel cell forklifts
  • BC Transit fuel cell bus project evaluation results report
  • Upcoming industry events

Details on Ballard's Comprehensive Range of Engineering Services
Interview with Kevin Colbow, Vice President Engineering Services


Interviewer: How do Ballard’s Engineering Services benefit companies that are developing products?

Colbow: At our headquarters in Burnaby, Canada, Ballard activities encompass the entire product engineering cycle for fuel cell development. Our fuel cell stacks and systems are fully designed and integrated in-house, including vital components such as the bipolar plate design, membrane-electrode assembly and the catalyst layer. Through engagement with Ballard’s Engineering Services, this wealth of knowledge is made available to our customers.

Q: What sets Ballard apart from other companies offering similar services?

A: Ballard is the only company offering a full range of services that includes all stages of product development, from initial predictive simulation and modeling to advanced product manufacturing techniques. We really are a ‘one stop shop’ for companies looking to optimize every stage of the PEM fuel cell development process and accelerate the time-to-market for their products.

Details about Ballard’s full range of Engineering Services capabilities are available on our website.

Q: What interest are you seeing in the marketplace?

A: Revenue growth has been strong. Our 2013 Engineering Services revenue increased 24 percent, to 21.1 million dollars, the majority of which stemmed from our 4-year Volkswagen contract, signed in March 2013. And, we expect growth in the neighbourhood of about 30% in 2014.


 New Video Featuring Ballard's ElectraGenTM Backup Power Systems 

Ballard offers both hydrogen and methanol-fuelled backup power systems, for deployment at telecommunication tower sites. Our ElectraGenTM systems are designed to provide extended runtime in the event of a grid outage, or can provide continuous power on a temporary basis until a site is grid-connected. In 2013, Ballard shipped close to 800 units, 2x the volume in 2012. Most of these systems were shipped to Japan, China, Southeast Asia, South Africa and the Caribbean… fulfilling both repeat orders from existing customers as well as orders from new channel partners and service providers. The majority of these shipments – about 80 percent – were methanol-fuelled products.

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of Ballard’s ElectraGenTM backup power systems.

Ballard Reports Strong 2013 Results 

Last month Ballard released Q4 and full year 2013 operating results, which demonstrate continued progress and growing momentum in the Company’s markets. Revenue for the year increased 40% over 2012 and Adjusted EBITDA improved 63% - consistent with corporate guidance.

Ballard is achieving growth and moving closer to profitability through the execution of a 3-level business strategy focused on: fuel cell product sales, particularly in the Telecom Backup Power and Material Handling markets; engineering services; and IP licensing.

Hear Company President & CEO, John Sheridan, discuss corporate results and future outlook in these video interviews –

Business News Network:

Corporate Video:


Steven Karaffa Joins Ballard as Chief Commercial Officer

Earlier in March, Ballard announced the appointment of Steven W. Karaffa as Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Mr. Karaffa is joining Ballard following a long and successful career at Corning Incorporated, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Carrier Network Sales & Marketing at Corning Telecommunications. Other significant positions at Corning included President & CEO of Corning Gilbert and Vice President of Cable Product Line Management at Corning Cable Systems. Mr. Karaffa holds a BA and MBA from the University of Notre Dame and completed an international business certification, Tuck 20/20, through Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

In his role at Ballard, Mr. Karaffa will be responsible for leading activities related to sales, channel management, product management and marketing.


Plug Power Receives Follow-On Order from Walmart for Multi-Site Hydrogen Fuel Cell Deployment

Plug Power recently announced that it has received a purchase order from Walmart Stores, Inc. to roll out 1,738 GenDrive® hydrogen fuel cell systems to power electric lift truck fleets at six North America distribution centers. Deployments will take place over 2-years, with the first of six sites to be deployed by the second quarter of 2014. Ballard’s FCvelocity®-9SSL and FCgen®-1020ACS fuel cell stacks power the complete line of GenDrive® systems for Class 1, 2 and 3 electric forklifts.

Walmart currently has 535 GenDrive® fuel cell units in operation at sustainable refrigerated distribution centers, including two sites in Canada and one in the United States. Walmart’s Balzac, Canada, fresh food distribution center is the most energy-efficient distribution facility of its kind in North America – you can view video of this facility, including an interview with a fuel cell forklift operator on Ballard’s YouTube channel.

Zero-emission fuel cell-powered lift trucks deliver economic, operational as well as environmental benefits, when compared to traditional battery systems operating in high-throughput distribution centre and warehouse environments. Advantages are a direct result of increased forklift productivity, driven by factors that include availability of constant power and minimal hydrogen refuelling time.

BC Transit Fuel Cell Bus Project:  Evaluation Results Report

The Whistler fuel cell bus fleet – powered by Ballard FCvelocity®-HD6 fuel cell modules – is nearing completion of its planned 5-year demonstration period. This 20-bus demonstration was introduced during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is the world’s largest fuel cell hybrid bus fleet in a single location. The Whistler, British Columbia resort area is a particularly robust testing ground for buses with wide temperature differences between the seasons, steep grades, and heavy passenger loads during peak season.

BC Transit collaborated with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to evaluate the buses in revenue service. CARB enlisted NREL to conduct a third-party evaluation of the BC Transit fleet and report on the demonstration program to aid in understanding status of the technology in transit.

A newly published report, available on the NREL website, covers two years of revenue service data on the buses from April 2011 through March 2013. NREL will collect data through the end of the planned demonstration period and plans to publish a second report outlining the final performance results in mid-2014.

The Whistler experience has supported continuing progress on several important fronts. In addition to the significant reduction in capital cost of fuel cell buses over the past 5-years, the public profile generated by the Whistler fleet has helped engender a positive perspective among progressive transit agencies in other parts of the world. Ballard is currently focused on fuel cell bus market development in Europe, China as well as the U.S. markets.

Upcoming Industry Events

Hannover Messe 2014

April 7-11, 2014

Ballard will be participating in Europe’s largest hydrogen, fuel cell and battery exhibition. Held annually in Hannover, Germany, this exhibition welcomes over 200,000 visitors.


CommunicAsia 2014

June 17-20, 2014

Ballard will be exhibiting at CommunicAsia 2014, Asia’s largest integrated information and communications technology event. Industry professionals from around the world congregate annually to obtain industry updates, witness product / service launches, leverage business opportunities and gain insights from other industry experts.



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