FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Daimler AG said Thursday it is the majority stake holder in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, a Vancouver, Canada-based think tank that is developing fuel cells for the automotive industry.
The newly-founded group, which has 150 researchers, is geared toward developing fuel cells for automakers striving to find economical ways to bring environmentally-friendly automobiles to market.
The group was created after Ballard Power Systems transferred its own fuel cell division to form the new venture so it could concentrate on marketing stationary fuel cell applications.
Given Daimler's 50.1 percent stake, the new firm will be headed by Andreas Truckenbrodt — who was the executive director of hybrid development at the Stuttgart-based automaker.
Ford Motor Co. holds a 30 percent stake in the company, and Ballard will be its finance investor. In return, Daimler will retransfer its total stake in Ballard back to it.
Herbert Kohler, Daimler's chief environmental officer, said the group would serve as a think tank to help advance research.
''With the newly founded company, we pursue the aim of strengthening our leading position in fuel cell development and going full steam ahead in our preparations for the large-scale production of fuel cell cars,'' he said.