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Linamar, Ballard Power Systems join forces on fuel cell powertrains


Ballard Power Systems and Linamar Corporation have formed a strategic alliance to co-develop and sell fuel cell powertrains and components for class 1 and 2 vehicles weighing up to five tons.

The companies plan to manufacture these components initially for North America and Europe.

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) combine zero-emission operation with zero-emissions fuel sources. There is growing demand for FCEVs that can operate on long-duty cycles without payload compromise, and be rapidly refuelled in order to maximize fleet utilization.

A fuel cell powertrain solution will be developed in the initial phase of work, with Ballard providing the fuel cell subsystem and Linamar providing the rolling chassis, tanks, enclosures, cradles and other balance of plant needs as well as final assembly.

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Following successful testing of the demonstration platform, Ballard and Linamar will consider a joint venture to sell and support powertrains with fuel cell systems and an interchangeable rolling chassis for use in a range of light-duty class 1 and 2 vehicles, including passenger cars, SUV’s, light trucks and commercial vans.

“The establishment of this partnership to commercialize solutions for light-duty vehicles using fuel cell technology is transformative for the future of mobility and combines the global technology leadership of two great Canadian businesses,” says Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz in a statement.

“Our plug-and-play concept will make the evolution from battery electric vehicles to FCEV seamless and drive real change in terms of environmental sustainability.”

“We are excited to form a strategic alliance with Linamar,” adds Randy MacEwen, Ballard president and CEO. “In addition to our existing joint working relationship on the recently announced UPS delivery vans trial in California, we now deepen our collaboration based on a joint vision to provide zero-emission fuel cell powertrains for light-duty vehicles, particularly those that require long range, extended duty cycle and rapid refuelling.”