With numerous patents and 150 highly specialized employees from Ford, Daimler, and Ballard Power Systems, a new company called "Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation" is poised to become the technology leader in automotive fuel cell stacks. According to company sources, it will closely cooperate with the research and development departments of the automakers involved. Fuel cell specialist Ballard Power Systems has transferred its automotive division to the new company to be able to concentrate on the marketing of stationary fuel cell applications.
Daimler takes over the industrial leadership of "Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation" with its 50.1% stake. Ford holds 30% of the stakes and Ballard becomes a finance investor. In return, Daimler AG will retransfer its total stake in Ballard.
Ballard provides its employees of the research and development divisions as well as all the intellectual property and expertise relating to automotive fuel cell applications to the new company.
Daimler introduced the world's first fuel cell vehicle as early as 1994. Today, the company owns the world's largest fuel cell fleet of all automakers -- with over 100 vehicles -- and has thus gained the greatest experience in this field. The fleet has covered over 3.7 million kilometers in everyday operation at customers to date. Daimler expects fuel cell vehicles to reach maturity for large-scale production between 2012 and 2015 and will start producing a small series of B-Class F-Cell cars as early as 2010.
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