– Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today noted that the JIVE project (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) has been formally launched at a ceremony in Köln, Germany, with the support of a €32 million grant from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
The goal of JIVE is to accelerate commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies through the deployment of 144 fuel cell buses in 10 European regions and cities: Region Köln, Wuppertal and Rhein-Main in Germany; London, Birmingham, Dundee and Aberdeen in the United Kingdom; South Tyrol in Italy; Riga in Latvia; and Slagelse in Denmark. A parallel MEHRLIN project (Models for Economic Hydrogen Refueling Infrastructure), will involve implementation of 7 large hydrogen refueling stations in Europe with the support of a €5.5 million grant from the European Commission's Connecting Europe Facility (Transport) program.
Jesper Themsen, CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S said, “With funding now in place and the exciting JIVE project formally launched, the next phase will see each target region and city negotiate and sign supply agreements with OEM’s for the provision of fuel cell buses. Ballard’s bus OEM partners in Europe plan to aggressively pursue this next phase of European bus deployments, and we are keen to provide power using our FCveloCity® fuel cell engines.”
Mr. Themsen added, “The need for clean energy transportation alternatives has certainly been punctuated just this week, with emergency measures being taken across the continent that have been prompted by heavy pollution enveloping much of Europe.”
Ballard Power Systems has a total of approximately 50 employees at Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S in Hobro, Denmark as well as in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, all focused on supporting Ballard’s customers, projects and business development efforts in Europe. Ballard Power Systems recently completed a process to secure 100% of our European subsidiary and to rebrand Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S with the Ballard brand. Europe is a critically important market for Ballard and, as a result, we have taken steps to strengthen sales, engineering and service capabilities to support expected market growth.
With respect to the JIVE project, Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU Executive Director recently commented, “Project JIVE is now the fifth project related to deployment of fuel cells buses supported by the FCH JU and its launch marks a significant turning point in the decarbonisation of public transport. The
FCH JU is proud of such a far-reaching project seeing the daylight, which aims at unlocking the economies of scale required for commercialization. Fuel cell buses offer great advantages as they
can cut emissions and noise pollution, while providing good quality public transport. Bringing these benefits directly to citizens’ day-to-day lives is one of the priorities of the FCH JU and project JIVE clearly is a stepping stone in this process.”
The JIVE and MEHRLIN projects represent a step change for the hydrogen bus sector in Europe, moving from a technology demonstration stage to a day-to-day offering for zero-emission public transport. These hydrogen fuel cell buses will represent a solution to the twin problems of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from public transport in European cities.
Under the JIVE project, supply agreements are expected to be signed in selected target regions and cities in 2017, with commissioning of buses anticipated to start in 2018.
As announced at the beginning of 2017, Ballard is the first fuel cell company to power buses for more than 10 million cumulative kilometers (6.2 million miles) of revenue service – equivalent to circling the Earth 250 times at the equator – securing the Company’s position as the industry leader in fuel cell bus field experience.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com
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