Top photo: Mercedes-Benz Canada President Marcus Breitschwerdt and B.C. Premier Christy Clark sit on Mercedes’ first car flanked by a B-Class fuel cell vehicle currently making a journey around the world; Bottom photo: Mercedes-Benz Canada President Marcus Breitschwerdt and B.C. Premier Christy Clark sit inside one of three fuel cell powered B-Class vehicles which arrived in Vancouver yesterday on its way around the globe. Click image to enlarge

Vancouver, British Columbia – Mercedes-Benz Canada President and CEO, Marcus Breischwerdt announced today that Mercedes will set up production of its own fuel cell stacks in a new 2000 square metre facility in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby. Completion is scheduled for early 2012, and initial small-scale production is scheduled to begin in 2013.

B.C.’s recently installed Premier, Christy Clark, said Mercedes’ $50 million investment will mean “lots of jobs,” pointing out that “B.C. has the third largest clean technology sector anywhere in the world.”

The announcement coincided with the arrival of three Mercedes-Benz B-Class fuel cell cars in Vancouver which are currently taking part in a 125-day, 30,000 km journey around the world.  The zero-emissions B-Class F-cell cars have the equivalent of 136 horsepower, a range of 400 km, and can be refueled in three minutes.  Professor Herbert Kohler, head of e-Drive and future mobility said Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles will be ready for commercialization in 2015, but it’s up to the government and energy companies to step up and provide proper hydrogen refueling infrastructure.  At the moment, there are no public hydrogen refueling stations in Canada.

The fuel cell stack used in the current Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell and the Citaro FuelCell Hybrid city bus was developed in a joint venture between Daimler, Ford and Ballard called the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) founded in 2008.  The new fuel cell stack production facility will be entirely owned by Daimler and will supply fuel cells to Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

“Our colleagues at AFCC have pioneered the development of fuel cell stacks in Canada and we are now extremely proud to be actively involved in the next very important chapters in establishing a small series production of fuel cell stacks,” said Breitschwerdt.

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