VANCOUVER—Ballard Power Systems is teaming up with Chinese bus maker, Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co.
The Vancouver and Xiamen, China-based companies have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to design, optimize and produce a fuel cell-powered prototype bus using Ballard’s fuel cell engine technology. The two firms also plan to work toward getting the finished bus to key markets—first within China and eventually throughout King Long’s global network.
“We are delighted to be working with the second largest bus OEM in the world on this important fuel cell bus design and market opportunity,” Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s president and CEO, said.
“Together, we are looking to optimize the design in order to improve performance, while lowering cost. This will help drive fuel cell buses to cost parity with incumbent bus technologies. King Long’s strategic commitment to fuel cell bus deployment represents further validation of the substantial potential for zero-emission mass transit solutions in China and beyond,” he added.
The collaboration agreement offers a significant opportunity for Ballard; King Long operates three manufacturing bases in China and produces approximately 25,000 buses as well as 30,000 mini vans annually.
The two companies also noted China’s recent efforts to begin curbing carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality by promoting “new engine” vehicles and clean energy mass transit.