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I honestly cannot see a chasm crossing. A chasm crossing into the automobile field does not just mean that companies are investing R&D money, or companies have prototypes. That is early, early, adoption.

I have to emphatically with Tinker agree that fuel cells are pre-chasm. After all they are completely unavailable as a mass market product. Strictly R&D, prototypes, and developemental units at this point. The only company selling and installing commercial units as far as I know is IFC: International Fuel Cells which sells 200Kw stationary generators. They are responsible for the installation at the post office in Anchorage (which is 5 of the generators strung together for 1Mw total power). I think (going from memory) that they have installed between 50 and 100 units. So in the niche of 'environmentally friendly, grid independant, reliable power generation' IFC might be said to be knocking down a pin, but I have to class these as early adopters.

Ballard is gearing up to compete in this space as well. I think they have about 3 or 4 developemental units in operation. The PEM fuel cells are not ideal for larger scale generation and ~ 250Kw will probably be a top end here. FCEL (Fuel Cell Energy) has developemental units in place as well using their MCFC (Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell) technology, which is much higher efficiency.

ActingFoolishly had it about right on the timeline for Ballard:
Portable / small standby PEM FCs in 2001
Larger Stationary (250kW) in 2002-2003
Buses 2003-2004
automotive after that.

I think (still going from memory) that buses are actually projected for the 2002-2003 period as well. Plus he left out the grid connected 1 Kw home generator/water heater being developed first for the Japanese market, expected I think in 2002-2003. Automotive is looking at initial commercial sales in 2004. Here's the page to dig in for details: The annual report gives the timelines.

So the first pin they are aiming for is the 'environmentally friendly and quiet portable / standby power generator' niche market. They are partnered with Coleman Powermate on this product and it is expected this year.

Regards, Ben
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