In 1993, Ballard Power Systems demonstrated a solid polymer fuel cell system as the "engine" in a transit bus (32 ft long), using 24 stacks of 5 kW to provide 120 kW (Prater, 1994). The hydrogen fuel was stored as compressed gas in natural gas cylinders approved for transportation use, and the cylinders were located under the bus frame. To compress air for the fuel cells, a supercharger operated by a motor was used in combination with a turbocharger driven by the exhaust gases.
Daimler-Benz demonstrated the NECar (New Electric Car) in 1994, using solid polymer fuel cells developed by Ballard Power Systems (Prater, 1994). The vehicle was a Mercedes-Benz transporter van (MB180), with the cargo section containing 12 stacks of the Mk5 design (50 kW gross power) and holding the compressed hydrogen gas cylinders.
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