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.