Fuel Cell Pioneer Passes On
Ballard, a former director of the U.S. Federal Energy Conservation Research office, began tinkering with alternative fuels on his own in the late 1970s.; Although he initially attempted to develop a commercially-viable lithium-ion battery (a project that carried him to the brink of bankruptcy), he soon focused his work on the hydrogen fuel cell.
Ballard’s work with fuel-cell vehicles began in 1994, when his firm – Ballard Power Systems – built the world’s first fuel-cell-powered bus for Vancouver.; The company began working on smaller applications, and worked extensively with Ford and Daimler on prototype cars, including the FCV Focus and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell demonstrators.
Although the automotive business was sold to Ford and Daimler earlier this year, the company continues to build and supply fuel cells for transit buses, industrial equipment, and home power applications.
Ballard’s survivors include his wife, Shelagh, and three sons.
Source: Washington Post