British Columbia is furthering its reputation for hydrogen fuel cell technology.
A multimillion-dollar manufacturing and research and development facility has been unveiled in Burnaby this month.
The new facility is for cellcentric, a division created last year by Germany’s Daimler Truck AG and Sweden’s Volvo Group.
The subsidiary develops and manufacturers fuel cell systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Daimler Truck and Volvo Group combine for roughly half of the North American market for such vehicles.
Located in Riverbend Business Park, the 57,000-square-foot facility will employ an engineer-based team of approximately 70. Cellcentric stated that the new production facilities in Burnaby have “three times the capacity and twice the space” compared to the previous production facility.
“We do parts of the cell manufacturing and the final stack assembly here in Burnaby, and also very important parts of the fuel cell R&D, especially stack R&D,” Christian Mohrdieck, cellcentric’s chief commercial officer, told Business in Vancouver. “That’s the most innovative part of the fuel cell, and we think we have a unique knowledge base here in Burnaby, and Canada.”
There are no all-electric long-haul semi-trucks on the road today. However, Mohrdieck says this will change within a few years.
Many in BC are working on fuel cell systems for different vehicle types.
For example, Vancouver-based Hyda Energy recently retrofitted the world’s first hydrogen-converted armoured vehicle. Meanwhile Victoria’s Geazone Eco-Courier is building an entire fleet of hydrogen-powered delivery vehicles.
And recently the British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy partnered with businesses and government organizations to drive BC’s low-carbon hydrogen economy forward with the launch of the BC Hydrogen Changemakers Consortium, which will focus on driving the province’s hydrogen industry by helping accelerate demand and supporting infrastructure for the development of hydrogen hubs.
Indeed, cellcentric considers Greater Vancouver to be the Silicon Valley of fuel cell technology, “where various well-known companies have been located for more than three decades and have acquired special know-how and expertise in the field of fuel cell technology.”