Ballard Power Systems has secured a contract to develop and commercialise a fuel cell engine to be integrated into low-floor trams manufactured by Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company (CRRC Sifang).
The joint development and supply agreements have an initial value of $6m and include delivery of ten customised FCvelocity modules next year.
Ballard will develop a new prototype configuration of its FCvelocity fuel cell module to produce 200kW of net power for trams in urban deployments.
Starting in 2017, eight fuel cell-powered trams will be deployed by CRRC Sifang and the City of Foshan on the Gaoming Line.
Based in Qingdao, Shandong province, CRRC Sifang has an annual production capacity of 200 high-speed electric multiple units (EMUs), 1,000 mass transit vehicles and 300 high-grade passenger cars.
In March, a Ballard fuel cell module powered the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered, fixed-rail electric tram that was showed at a ceremonial event held at CRRC Sifang’s head office, production and testing facility.
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CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company deputy president Luo Bin said: "Clean urban transportation is a high priority in China. Our collaboration with Ballard to develop a purpose-built engine for our low-floor tram, and the initial planned deployments in Foshan, position us well for this attractive opportunity."
Ballard signed another framework agreement with Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company (TRC) in June for fuel cell module development to power trams in China.
The deal will see development of a new fuel cell module designed to meet the requirements of tram or ground transport vehicle (GTV) applications.