TORONTO – Geoff Ballard, a Canadian pioneer of the fuel cell industry and an entrepreneur that Time Magazine once named one of its "Heroes for the Planet," passed away August 2, according to the New York Times. He was 76.
Ballard developed the world's first hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered, zero-emission transit bus. Science World, a science center in Vancouver, B.C., unveiled the vehicle in 1993.
In 1979, Ballard founded Ballard Power Systems Inc., which makes hydrogen fuel cells that are used in materials handling, residential cogeneration, backup power, and transportation. He served as chairman of the company until 1997. In 1999, he started General Hydrogen, which was bought by Plug Power Inc. last year for $10 million.
In his early career, Ballard worked for Mobil Oil and the U.S. Army before reportedly opening a restaurant to fund his research in rechargeable battery technology.