"A great story about how a tiny Canadian companyfor the first few years little more than 'three guys and a prayer'brought such a revolutionary and beneficial technology to the world."
The Ballard fuel cell holds nothing less than the promise of clean, quiet power for the new millennium. Fuel cells could, one day soon, replace the internal combustion engine and solve some of the world's worst air pollution problems. Powering the Future is the story of Ballard Power Systems, a small company at the forefront of this revolutionary technology, and on the brink of changing the way the world thinks about power. Fuel cells work by mixing hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce electricity; the only by-product is water so clean you can drink it. The technology itself has been around for over 150 years, butexcept for exotic applications such as space flightremained obscure because of its expense. Powering the Future tells the intriguing story of how Geoffrey Ballard and a handful of colleagues brought this neglected technology to the world, on gritty determination and a shoestring budget. From their humble beginnings in their make-shift lab in an old Arizona motel, and on to the formation of Ballard Power Systems in British Columbia, this small company drastically improved and commercialized the fuel cell. They made it smaller, cheaper, and vastly more powerful over an astonishingly short time, actually melting down cables as they realized a fifty-fold increase in power output. Beyond the technical achievements, Ballard's story is also an amazing business success. Achieving a delicate balance between fiscal caution and technological daring, they brought fuel cells out of the lab and into the mainstream of business. Today, Ballard Power Systems is the acknowledged world leader in the fuel-cell race, and a runaway stock market success, its share price surging more than ten-fold in just three years. Powering the Future not only chronicles the company's impressive rise against stiff odds and intense competition; it also teaches valuable lessons about vision and inspiration, creating a culture of loyalty and dedication, attracting and keeping talented people, and marketing and selling an underdog technology to the biggest corporate giants. When Ballard decided to go for broke and enter the huge markets of transportation and stationary power, they took on some of the most formidable adversaries in the corporate worldcar manufacturers and oil companies. You'll learn how the new generation of management excelled at not only improving the technology, but also marketing it, ultimately forging impressive alliances with some of the biggest players in the auto world. Powering the Future tells how it all happened through the unlikely mix of a driven visionary; a small, agile company; a culture of teamwork and dedication; government funding at the right time; the legislative urgency for cleaner power; and smart management.
Powering the Future is the entertaining and inspirational account of how a tiny high-tech research company grew, and became poised to literally change the way we live.