Wednesday, April 8, 1998

Fuel-cell technology

Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that, through its close relationship with Ford Motor Company, Mazda will participate in the new alliance which was formalized yesterday by Ford, Daimler-Benz AG and Ballard Power Systems. The alliance's goal is to be the world's leading commercial producer of fuel-cell-powered drivetrains and components for cars, trucks and buses.

Mazda has relevant technological expertise in fuel cells, fuel-cell systems and electric drivetrain systems. The company has demonstrated its fuel-cell technology by developing a fuel-cell electric vehicle, the Demio FCEV, which was exhibited at "Eco-Japan '97."

Mazda's partnership in the alliance is a further strengthening of the Company's environmental program dedicated to improving the environment in which we live.

The FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle) is considered to be an alternative next-generation electric vehicle, with an on-board electric generator consuming hydrogen as a fuel, unlike conventional electric vehicles which utilize an on-board battery as an energy source.

Mazda also has been studying the application of hydrogen as a fuel source since 1990, as seen in the hydrogen rotary engine and fuel cell. Other actions include development of environment-friendly technologies for reducing CO2 emissions , for alternative-fuel and clean-energy vehicles, and for recycling materials and resources.

Supplemental Information:

Under the agreement, which consists of three parts, Ballard will be responsible for fuel cell with Daimler-Benz and Ford holding 20 percent and 15 percent of Ballard Power Systems Inc., respectively.

Daimler-Benz will have majority ownership of DBB Fuel Cell Engines GmbH, which is responsible for fuel-cell systems, with Ballard holding about 27 percent and Ford 22 percent.

Ford will be the majority owner of a new company responsible for electric drivetrain systems, with Ballard and Daimler-Benz owning 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The total investment in the alliance by the three companies is about Can.$1 billion (U.S.$700 million), consisting of cash, technology and assets.

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