Fuel Cell Pioneer Ballard To Cut Jobs

Posted on September 22, 2005

As perhaps a sign of to how far away fuel cells might be as a commercial technology, Ballard Power Systems Inc., one of the pioneers of fuel cell development, said it will cut about 15% of its employees as it trims operating expenses by 12% to extend the life of its existing cash resources.

Ballard said it will reduce discretionary spending and eliminate about 100 full-time jobs, with nearly half of those jobs already cut through attrition and elimination of open positions. The company expects to take a one-time charge of about $2 million in the third quarter for the job cuts.

The cost-cutting measures follow the sale of Ballard's German subsidiary to automakers DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Co., which closed on Aug. 31. The sale was part of a restructuring of Ballard's relationship with the automakers, which both have stakes in the company. Ballard lost $29.5 million in its second quarter, saying that cash requirements in 2005 for operations and capital expenditures were expected at between $60 million and $80 million.