BAT International (Chula Vista) subsidiary Southern States Power Co. (SSPC) has formed a joint venture with Anuvu Inc. to complete development and demonstration of an advanced proton exchange membrane fuel cell that will be demonstrated in a series of fuel cell powered electric vehicle runs in California and other locations. The joint venture company, Global Fuel Cell Corp., is owned 50 percent by Anuvu and 50 percent by SSPC. According to BAT, SSPC has provided funding, engineering and marketing support, and has also completed an electric mini-van with a state-of-the-art ac drive system that has a fully computerized monitoring system. Anuvu is contributing its PEM fuel cell technology, which is claimed to require less than half the volume of major competing fuel cells while delivering the same amount of electricity. The Global Fuel Cell Carbon-X technology can be rapidly produced using standard low-cost equipment, BAT states. The Global Fuel Cell uses a proprietary process to manufacture very thin fuel cell plates with non-corrosive materials. The bipolar plates are 0.1-inch thick, one-third the size of most plates in competing fuel cells. Thermal management is achieved through a proprietary cooling process for the fuel cell. Humidity management is accomplished through the use of materials that prevent product water from forming an obstruction in any of the gas passages. The fuel cell also incorporates strong membranes designed to withstand much higher pressures than the worst case operating point. Chemical compatibility is accomplished through the use of a non-metallic structure, except for the catalyst itself.BAT states that a series of vehicle runs are planned over the next few months with the fuel cell using a variety of fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, methanol and gasoline.