Ballard Power Systems announced June 4 that its Mark 900 series fuel cell has powered DaimlerChrysler's NECAR 5 fuel cell vehicle in its drive from San Francisco, California to Washington, D.C. The successful completion of this 13-day, 3,000 mile (4,800 kilometer) endurance test is the world's first for a fuel cell vehicle. The NECAR 5 is a Mercedes-Benz A Class vehicle powered by a Ballard fuel cell engine generating 75 kilowatts of power. Hydrogen is generated onboard the vehicle from methanol, utilizing a fuel processor developed by Ballard. "This historic journey demonstrates the capabilities of Ballard fuel cells as we look to power the future," said Firoz Rasul, Ballard's chairman and chief executive officer. "The valuable system and operational data gathered by Ballard's Transportation Division engineers will play an important role in the development of our commercial fuel cell engines. This endurance test provides Ballard with real-world experience in testing its fuel cell engine in a variety of conditions including differing altitudes, temperatures and humidities that cannot be matched through lab testing. Through this testing Ballard gained significant insight into optimizing the operating parameters of the complete fuel cell engine, including the fuel cell, fuel processor and overall system controls." Ballard Power Systems claims to be recognized as the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane ("PEM") fuel cells. Ballard says it is commercializing fuel cell engines for transportation applications and fuel cell systems for portable and stationary products ranging from 1 kilowatt to 250 kilowatts. Ballard is also commercializing electric drives for fuel cell and battery-powered electric vehicles, power conversion products for fuel cells and other distributed generation products, and is an automotive supplier of friction materials for power train components. Ballard says its proprietary technology is enabling automobile, bus, electrical equipment, portable power and stationary product manufacturers to develop environmentally clean products for sale. Ballard says it is partnering with DaimlerChrysler, Ford, EBARA, ALSTOM and FirstEnergy, to commercialize Ballard fuel cells. Ballard claims to have supplied fuel cells to Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Yamaha, Cinergy, Coleman Powermate and Matsushita Electric Works.