July 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 every day.

In this issue:   

  • Q&A with Steve Karaffa, Chief Commercial Officer on Ballard’s acquisition of United Technology IP
  • ElectraGen™-ME backup power systems deployed in the Philippines
  • ‘Trip Reports’ from CommunicAsia and Hannover Messe
  • Upcoming industry events – save the date for INTELEC® 2014
  • Ballard fuel cell modules powering zero-emission bus fleets around the globe
  • Ballard coverage in Forbes Magazine

Details on Ballard's Acquisition of United Technology IP

Interview with Steve Karaffa, Chief Commercial Officer

Interviewer:  In April, Ballard announced the purchase of UTC’s PEM fuel cell patent portfolio. Could you provide more details regarding what was purchased?

Karaffa:  Ballard purchased the bulk of UTC’s transportation (automotive & bus) and stationary PEM intellectual property assets, including 800 patents and patent applications, patent licenses, invention disclosures and know-how. Combined with our existing Ballard IP portfolio we clearly have the leading position in the PEM fuel cell space. What we haven’t bought is any physical assets, facilities or personnel, this is purely an IP purchase deal.

Q: What was the main incentive for Ballard to make this significant deal to purchase the IP assets?

A:  This is a ‘game changer’ in the fuel cell sector that will positively impact Ballard in all areas of our corporate strategy. This deal solidifies and enhances Ballard’s IP portfolio and underpins our licensing business. We have been talking for some time now about the 3 key elements of our business strategy – which are Product Sales, Engineering Services and Licensing – and this deal both enhances our ability to strengthen Ballard’s market position to win additional Engineering Services business and to also undertake more licensing deals similar to the bus module assembly deal that we signed last year with Azure in China. We paid UTC $22 million, $20 million of which is in Ballard shares. UTC will also receive royalty payments on future licensing deals, so that Company has a strong incentive to support our strategic partnership.

Q: How will this IP translate into real value for Ballard?

A:  In 2013 we took our first steps into the licensing space with the Bus deal in China that I just referenced. We recognized at that time that there was potential untapped value in our IP portfolio, provided we can find the correct circumstances to unleash the value. Licensing and leveraging our IP could play an important value creation role for us over the next few years, both independently and in combination with our Engineering Services business. For instance, in our latest IP deal with M-Field Energy, Ballard will provide IP as well as Engineering Services support for material handling systems to be deployed in Europe.

And, in the longer-term, these deals offer the potential for Ballard to become a supplier of products or component parts, which is a very exciting aspect of this strategy.

Q:  Will Ballard apply any of the UTC technology to its own products?

A:  That is something our Engineering team is diving into now. In the near term we have an opportunity to apply this knowledge to our product sales business in FCvelocity®-HD7 development, in terms of extended lifetime and simpler balance of plant designs. The technical due diligence team also identified areas of know-how that may also improve our Backup Power and Material Handling products in the near-term.

Globe Telecom Deploys ElectraGen™-ME Telecom Backup Power Systems in the Philippines 

Installation of Ballard fuel cell telecom backup power systems is proceeding in the Philippines, with 12 ElectraGen™-ME systems now deployed at key sites in metro Manila. These systems are part of an initial 20-system order received in the third quarter of 2013 from AECi, Ballard’s channel partner in the Philippines, for deployment in the network of Globe Telecom, a major full service telecommunications company in that country.

The methanol-fuelled back-up power systems are designed to ensure delivery of network services during extreme weather events, such as Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, or when electric grid is unavailable or during power outages. All 20 of the initial systems will be installed at rooftop locations and fuelled with HydroPlus™, a mixture of methanol and water that can be readily delivered to the site.

Recent Industry Events 

Hannover Messe 2014

Ballard participated in the annual Hannover Messe, Europe’s largest hydrogen, fuel cell and battery exhibition. Follow the link to watch the presentation by TJ Lawy, Ballard’s Program Manager for Engineering Services, regarding the commercialization of fuel cells across a variety of markets.

CommunicAsia 2014

Ballard joined other companies from British Columbia’s information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in showcasing their latest solutions and expertise at CommunicAsia, Asia’s largest ICT show, held in Singapore from June 17-20, 2014. Ballard has deployed many of our ElectraGen™ telecom backup power systems in Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia and the Philippines.


Upcoming Industry Event  

INTELEC® 2014 – International Telecommunications Energy Conference

INTELEC® 2014 is taking place September 28 - October 2, 2014 in spectacular Vancouver, BC, Canada. Ballard looks forward to welcoming attendees to our hometown for this annual conference which examines and analyzes the latest developments in telecommunications energy systems.

Ballard has many activities planned for conference attendees including three technical presentations, an ElectraGen™ product display, Ballard facility tour and customer reception.

Those interested in attending the full conference can register at 

Ballard Fuel Cell Modules Power Zero-Emission Bus Fleets Around the Globe

Ballard, together with BC Transit, New Flyer and PW Transit was very pleased to have been awarded the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) 2014 Corporate Leadership Innovation Award for the Whistler Fuel Cell Bus Project. The four-year demonstration helped advance Ballard’s technology toward commercialization and generated international business opportunities for this ‘made in B.C.’ technology.  Now, transit agencies around the world are introducing fleets of these environmentally friendly, zero-emission buses.

This spring, Aberdeen City Council received the first four in an ultimate fleet of ten Ballard-powered  buses that will be Europe’s largest hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet. These first four buses performed flawlessly on the 250 kilometer (150 mile) journey from the port at Rosyth to the city of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Following closely after, transit authority Regional Verkehr Koln (RVK) of Cologne, Germany took delivery of two 13 meter buses powered by Ballard’s FCvelocity®-HD6 fuel cell modules. The buses were integrated by Van Hool NV, Europe’s fourth largest bus manufacturer.

Ballard and Van Hool have previously supplied buses to a number of other European cities, including: Oslo, Norway; San Remo, Italy; and Flanders, Belgium.  All told, approximately 40 buses operating in Europe are expected to be powered by Ballard fuel cell modules this year.

North America:

SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, CA recently took delivery of two new fuel cell buses, each powered by a Ballard FCvelocity®-HD6 fuel cell module. These two additional buses will bring the total number of Ballard powered fuel cell buses at SunLine Transit Agency to four. In 2013 Ballard signed extended service agreements with SunLine Transit Agency that will support bus operation for up to ten years, demonstrating SunLine’s continued commitment to the operation of these buses.

Ballard Coverage in Forbes Magazine

There has been increasing interest in the fuel cell industry by the media, including this article recently published in Forbes Magazine. Author Peter Kelly-Detwiler spoke with Steve Karaffa, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Officer, and Guy McAree, Director of Marketing and Investor Relations regarding the company’s outlook.

Ballard: Living to Fight Another Day In The Fuel Cell World

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