So what is your take on Green Car Congress report that DaimlerChrysler and Ford have bought Ballard’s German subsidiary, Ballard Power Systems AG? Is this another attempt to silence alternative energy innovation or is this scrambling to compete with the prospect of Japanese FCHVs everywhere?
Ballard will continue to be responsible for the design, development and manufacture of vehicular fuel cells for its Alliance partners. DaimlerChrysler and Ford will be jointly responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the vehicular fuel cell support system.
It probably is more scrambling than hushing since DaimlerChrysler and Ford say they are willing to provide “up to a combined US$59 million toward the development of Ballard’s next-generation fuel cell and electric drive.”
One thing I take from the announcement is that if I were to buy a Th!nk or GEM, I would be unable to retrofit one with a Ballard propulsion drive system. From what I understand Ballard has agreed to restrict sale of such a product.
This may be inconsequential since it would appear to be some time before fuel cells become diffused into the personal transportation market. By that time, I probably will be in the market for a fuel cell wheelchair.
With the potential cost of such futuristic assistance, I wonder if we will see the advent of personal robotic livery services? It can’t happen any too soon in my town.