VANCOUVER, B.C., Feb. 22, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP; TSE:BLD) announced today that its associate company, EBARA BALLARD, unveiled an engineering prototype one-kilowatt proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stationary generator for the Japanese residential market.

The natural gas-fuelled cogeneration unit is the product of a collaboration involving Ballard subsidiary Ballard Generation Systems (BGS), EBARA BALLARD, EBARA Corporation and Tokyo Gas.

“This fuel cell generator will provide electric power for Japanese homes and apartments as well as heat for space heating and hot water,” said Jim Kirsch, President of Ballard Generation Systems. “The performance of the prototype unit is testimony to the effectiveness of our collaboration with EBARA and Tokyo Gas.”

The unit comprises a BALLARD® fuel cell, Tokyo Gas technology in a reformer made by EBARA BALLARD, and a water tank warmed with heat from the fuel cell. Four prototype units built at EBARA BALLARD’s plant in Fujisawa, Japan, have been shipped to Tokyo Gas and others in Japan for testing and demonstration.

The prototype generator reached DC gross electrical efficiency of 42 per cent (lower heating value “LHV”), and heat recovery efficiency of 43 per cent (LHV) in in-house testing. EBARA BALLARD is continuing to work to improve performance, reliability and to reduce costs.

Tokyo Gas is the largest natural gas company in Japan both in terms of the number of customers – over 8.5 million in total – and gas sales volume. Founded in 1885, its service area now covers 3,129 square kilometres in the heart of the Kanto region, Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures, the largest and most densely populated region in Japan with a total of some 40 million people. Tokyo Gas is conducting research and development in many areas including cost reduction, safety enhancement and efficient utilization of natural gas, and fuel-processing technologies.

EBARA BALLARD is a jointly held company of EBARA Corporation of Japan and Ballard Generation Systems with a mandate to supply Ballard Generation Systems fuel cell power generators incorporating the BALLARD® fuel cell to customers in Japan.

EBARA Corporation is globally recognized as a major developer, manufacturer and distributor of fluid machinery and systems, precision machinery and environmental engineering systems and as a leader in zero-emission energy technology.

Ballard Generation Systems was formed to commercialize PEM fuel cell stationary power generators that use the BALLARD® fuel cell. In addition to Ballard Power Systems, its shareholders include GPU Inc. of New Jersey, ALSTOM France S.A., and Ebara Corporation of Japan.

Ballard Power Systems is recognized as the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane fuel cells for use in transportation, electricity generation and portable power products. Ballard Power Systems’ proprietary fuel cell technology is enabling automobile, electrical equipment and portable power product manufacturers to develop environmentally clean products for sale.

The fundamental component of these end-user products is the BALLARD® fuel cell that combines hydrogen (which can be obtained from methanol, natural gas, petroleum or renewable sources) and oxygen (from air) without combustion to generate electricity. Ballard is partnering with strong, world-leading companies, including DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GPU, ALSTOM and EBARA, to commercialize BALLARD® fuel cells. Ballard has also supplied fuel cells to Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Yamaha, Cinergy, Coleman Powermate and Matsushita Electric Works, among others.