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Ballard awarded $18M follow-on fuel cell deal with Broad-Ocean to support deployment of 400 buses and trucks in China

Fuel cell system manufacturer Ballard Power Systems has entered into an $18-million supply contract with Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. (Broad-Ocean) to support the deployment of 400 FCveloCity fuel cell systems integrated into clean energy buses and trucks in key Chinese cities.

The transaction is part of an ongoing program with Broad-Ocean (earlier post) to implement Ballard’s fuel cell technology in support of China’s ambitious plan to address environmental concerns and advance the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The complementary addition of fuel cell systems effectively addresses the limitations of stand-alone battery solutions in certain use cases, resulting in growing demand for zero-emission and efficient propulsion systems that provide bus, truck and commercial vehicles with the traditional range and refueling times provided by legacy diesel solutions.

This announcement, together with an $11-million transaction announced in April, means that Ballard is planning to support Broad-Ocean through the deployment of 600 fuel cell engines having a value of $29 million, with substantial deliveries expected to be made this year.

In addition to these modules for use in strategic demonstration projects in key Chinese cities, Ballard also closed the strategic technology transfer, licensing and supply deal with Broad-Ocean in April, under which Broad-Ocean plans to set up three module assembly operations in China, representing a further $25 million to Ballard over 5 years.

Today’s announcement adds further momentum to our strategy in China’s new energy transportation market. This deal provides another critical validation of the rapidly emerging market opportunity in China for the adoption of fuel cell technology to help solve environmental challenges, including air quality. With our strategic partner Broad-Ocean, we are positioning Ballard to successfully address this opportunity and scale our business, while driving down costs to support sustainable long-term demand.

—Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO

Founded in 1994, Broad-Ocean is a global manufacturer of motors that power small and specialized electric machinery for electric vehicles (EVs), including buses, commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, and for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Broad-Ocean produces more than 50 million motors annually for customers on 5 continents.

In August 2016, Broad-Ocean became Ballard’s largest shareholder following an investment of $28.3 million in Ballard common shares, representing approximately 9.9% of Ballard’s outstanding common shares following the transaction.



400 vehicles is starting to hit serious numbers, of course not full scale mass production, but way over early demos and into the realm of final testing for costs and so on prior to really heavy volumes.


UPS has a fuel cell extender, Sunline has been running fuel cell buses in Palm Springs for more than a decade. Try them out, see how they perform, there is LOTS of data that shows they work well.



It is very true that testing and reliability trials go back a long way.

The economics and durability are now very different to what they were a decade ago though, and hydrogen has now hit ~$4 kg in one of the bus depots.


Hi Dave,
They become more reliable with longer run times and fewer repairs. There are lots of detractors, it is easy to criticize but much more difficult and constructive to come up with solutions.


Yes, lower cost clean H2 at ($3.50/Kg) and improved lower cost FCs, will make FCEVs (of all sizes) more attractive, specially in areas with cold weather and for larger vehicles.

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