Mercedes-Benz Canada has celebrated the completion and official grand opening of the world’s first automated automotive facility dedicated to both the production and production-technology development of fuel cell stacks.
According to the vehicle maker, the 3,300-square-metre building, located in Burnaby, B.C, represents a major development on the road to a more sustainable future. The development also further solidifies the role that Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler will play in the commercialization of fuel cell technology.
The graduated testing and commissioning phase at the state-of-the-art facility is already well underway, and the first automated fuel cell stack was produced on June 7, 2012. It is expected that full-series production will commence sooner after the optimization of processes. In addition, another important parallel mandate of the new location will be continued research that is focused on the development of future generations of fuel cell stacks.
The strategic decision to locate the manufacturing plant in Burnaby was announced last year to ensure close proximity to the fuel cell stack development at Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) and the industrial fuel cell cluster located in the Greater Vancouver Area. This concentration has developed due to the numerous related companies and the significant activities in the field of fuel cell technology at the various institutes and universities.