2011 marks the 125th anniversary of the invention of the gasoline-powered automobile by Karl Benz, and Mercedes-Benz has been celebrating his legacy and contributions to the automotive industry with a special round-the-world-tour of its latest innovation, the zero-emission fuel cell vehicle.
A Reason to Party and Celebrate!
Mercedes-Benz landed in Vancouver on March 17, 2011, to demonstrate their new fuel cell cars before continuing their zero-emissions journey to Australia, China, Russia and Northern Europe. They also announced that as a major partner in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperative (AFCC), they have chosen Vancouver, the recognized birthplace of the automotive fuel cell, as their new home for a fuel cell stack manufacturing plant. This new manufacturing facility is creating jobs and making fuel cell stacks for Mercedes’ Canada’s pre-commercial fuel cell vehicles, scheduled to be unveiled in 2013/14, with commercial sales expected in 2015.
If B.C. builds them, will you drive them?
While recognizing the fine contributions of the automobile to family freedom and mobility, today’s environmentally-conscious consumers are excited about the progress of cleaner, greener and increasingly cost-effective alternatives like fuel cells, which have minimal impacts on Mother Earth. Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler, in partnership with Ford and Ballard Power Systems, have perfected the application of fuel cell technology for commercial use.
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel like hydrogen, natural gas, methanol, or gasoline and an oxidant (air or oxygen) into electricity. In principle, a fuel cell operates like a battery. Unlike a battery however, a fuel cell does not run down or require recharging and will continue to produce electricity and heat as long as fuel and an oxidizer are supplied. Individual fuel cells are combined into a fuel “stack” for use in commercial vehicles.
On its own, fuel cell stack technology produces no emissions, and releases only water vapour. Learn how fuel stack technology works and the infrastructure needed to make this a clean energy investment for your business.
Stacking Up Strong
B.C.’s leading advantages in clean technology come naturally. B.C. has the skills and talent, competitive business climate, and strategically located hydro-electric power facilities that enable hydrogen production for fuel cell vehicles. One plant in North Vancouver could power 20,000 fuel cell cars a year according to AFCC estimates. Learn more about how British Columbia is attracting more business in environmental and clean technology .
B.C.’s advanced manufacturing and innovation sector offers a growing pool of more than 50,000 top-notch engineering, technical and production workers, as well as annual savings of up to 15 per cent for labour, facilities, power and taxes compared with U.S. locations. The AFCC suggests the fuel cell industry already employs 1200 people in British Columbia with skills and expertise that give the province a global leadership position!
Get in the Business
It’s easy to get connected to B.C.’s clean technology and investment opportunities. Check out the B.C.’s Manufacturers’ Directory and our B.C. Business Network to start building strategic business opportunities in this sector.
Make your next investment in B.C. and our green, clean hydrogen machines!
Hold the Date
Did you know? Vancouver’s next Fuel Cells technology event is coming soon! Mark your calendar for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre May 15-18, 2011. Canada’s premier hydrogen and fuel cell event is welcoming an estimated 1,000 participants from Germany, Japan, Denmark, Korea, India, China and the US.
Tell us – would you drive a hydrogen-fuel automobile over a battery electric, hybrid electric or internal combustion engine?