The anti-Tesla: Ballard bets the day has finally come for tech Elon Musk called ‘mind-bogglingly stupid’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – April 28, 2021)

As chief executive of Burnaby-based Ballard Power Systems Inc., the company that hopes to disrupt trucking, municipal transit buses, railways and shipping with its proprietary hydrogen fuel cell technology, Randy MacEwen has made countless sacrifices.

He spent this past Christmas quarantined in a guarded hotel suite in Shanghai for two weeks, doing burpees and calisthenics to pass the time — all the while waiting to venture into a country where, out of respect for the culture, he calls one of his closest business associates, “big brother.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the Chinese culture,” MacEwen told the Financial Post.

Indeed, it marked his 60th trip to China in an estimated 70-month period, a gruelling schedule made all the more so by a health pandemic that added mandatory quarantine periods at both ends of any trip.

To him, it’s all part of the job of trying to build a sustainable business selling hydrogen fuel cells — technology that has sometimes been compared to the lithium-ion batteries that power Teslas and other zero-emission vehicles, though it has not yet established the same market foothold.

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