Fuel cell maker gets new funding

Fuel cell maker Ballad Power gets new funding

Ballard Power Systems has wrapped up a new round of funding, selling 7.7 million shares of common stock worth $95.8 million. That money, along with $97 million in new funding from DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Co., should keep the fuel cell manufacturer in business through 2007, the company said.

Canada-based Ballard has been manufacturing fuel cells for a variety of vehicle applications since 1993, including buses, light trucks, and cars. Fuel cells use hydrogen gas and oxygen to create electricity for vehicle propulsion, with water vapor the only by-product. Ballard has been working with DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen on a number of fuel cell-powered vehicle prototypes.

However, Ballard has struggled to make a profit in the last decade and believes profits from its fuel cell system are still five years away. The company recently laid off 400 employees -- 30% of its workforce -- and reduced development expenses in order to cut its operating costs and conserve cash for the next few years.

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