Mercedes-Benz to set up its own production of fuel cell stacks in Canada

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 21, 2011

Mercedes-Benz will be setting up its own production of fuel cell stacks in Canada. As a result, the carmaker will consolidate the development and production of a key component of fuel cell powered electric vehicles in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of e-Drive and Future Mobility, by uniting its alternative drive systems, it is guaranteeing direct access to the key technologies involved.

Kohler added that following the carmaker’s systematic development of battery expertise together with Accumotive GmbH in Germany, this decision brings the goal of emission-free driving nearer. Günter Walz, Vice President Planning international cooperations Mercedes-Benz Cars, said that the next logical step of Daimler's successful collaboration with partners in Vancouver is to create and build a new production facility under the aegis of Mercedes-Benz Canada.

The "Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation" (AFCC) in Burnaby, east of Vancouver, was founded in February 2008 as a joint venture between Daimler (50.1%), Ford (30%) and Ballard (19.9%).

The fuel cell stack, which is what’s used in the current Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus, was developed in this facility. This operation is intended to cover the entire value chain, from materials research to the development of a production technology for a large-scale production.

Mercedes-Benz will begin building a facility meant for the production of stacks for fuel cell vehicles right away. It will rise in a 2000 square metre space that’s also in Burnaby. The production facilities are scheduled to be completed in early 2012.

As soon as the graduated test and commissioning phase is completed, the small-series production of next-generation fuel cell stacks will start as of 2013. Aside from providing higher output and efficiency, these fuel cell stacks also offer excellent compact construction. This next generation fuel cell stack is also ideal for sedans, including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class.

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