The arrangement will see Ballard develop a 200kW fuel cell engine for installation on-board Siemens’ new Mireo vehicle, which is a modular commuter train platform designed to operate at a maximum speed of 160km/h.
The new train is also equipped with energy-efficient components and intelligent onboard network management systems.
It is expected to consume up to 25% less energy compared to other vehicles with similar passenger capacities.
Siemens Mobility Division CEO Sabrina Soussan said: “Our cooperation with Ballard is a decisive step towards replacing diesel-powered rail vehicles with emissions-free vehicles in the long term interests of sustainable and climate-friendly mobility.
“We want to be able to offer our customers flexible train solutions for various suburban routes, which vary according to regional conditions and technical possibilities.”
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The initial deployments of the fuel cell-powered Mireo trains are currently scheduled to begin in 2021.
Ballard Power Systems president and CEO Randy MacEwen said: “We are seeing rapid market demand growing for clean energy fuel cell technology in a range of heavy duty motive applications, including trains, trams, transit buses and commercial trucks.
“This Development Agreement with Siemens, a major industrial conglomerate and leading global train OEM, is a testament to the overall value proposition offered by Ballard’s fuel cell technology in a demanding use case and duty cycle.
“In this application, fuel cells enable electrification with range, without the need for costly catenary wire infrastructure.”
The agreement is noted to have a contemplated value of nearly $9m for Ballard.