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Ballard expanding MEA production capacity 6x by early 2021 to meet expected growth in fuel cell vehicle demand

Ballard Power Systems is expanding manufacturing capacity for production of its proprietary membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs)—a critical component of every fuel cell—6x by early 2021 at its headquarter facility in Vancouver.

The upgraded capacity for production of 6 million MEAs annually, equivalent to approximately 1.66 Gigawatts of product, will make Ballard’s Vancouver facility the largest fuel cell MEA production operation globally for commercial vehicles.

We embarked on a strategic investment to expand MEA manufacturing capacity approximately 18-months ago in preparation for expected growth in the demand for fuel cell engines to power Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive applications, including bus, truck, train and marine vessels.

We have focused on achieving our operational excellence plan as we significantly expand production capacity. In addition to the increased MEA production capability, we are simultaneously expanding our capacity for fuel cell stacks and assembly of complete modules, or engines, in Vancouver by a similar factor of 6-times.

—Jyoti Sidhu, Ballard Vice President of Operations

Capacity expansion is being enabled in part through investment in advanced manufacturing technology, together with the extensive use of automation and in-line quality control to drive high yields for product assembly. We are also integrating systems, from the supply chain throughout our manufacturing process, including a Manufacturing Execution System to enhance available data and streamline production.

—Dr. Lee Sweetland, Ballard Director of Advanced Manufacturing

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