Siemens and Ballard to develop new generation of fuel cells for trains

27 February 2018 (Last Updated February 27th, 2018 10:41)

Siemens and Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems have announced plans to jointly develop a fuel cell drive for the Siemens Mireo train platform.

Siemens and Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems have announced plans to jointly develop a fuel cell drive for the Siemens Mireo train platform.

The collaboration will also include input from RWTH Aachen University and aims to develop a new generation of fuel cells featuring longer lifecycles, higher efficiency and greater power density.

Ballard Power Systems president and CEO Randy MacEwen said: “We are seeing a rapid rise in demand for CO2-free fuel cell technology.

"Our cooperation with Ballard marks a decisive step being taken to replace diesel-powered rail vehicles with emission-free vehicles in order to provide sustainable and climate-friendly mobility."

“This applies to all sectors of passenger and freight transport, whether it is trains, trams, buses or trucks.”

The project has received around €12m in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the Ministry’s ‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program’.

It is set to be coordinated by the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

Siemens Mobility Division CEO Sabrina Soussan said: “Our cooperation with Ballard marks a decisive step being taken to replace diesel-powered rail vehicles with emission-free vehicles in order to provide sustainable and climate-friendly mobility over the long term.

“We want to be able to offer our customers flexible train solutions that vary depending on regional conditions and technical possibilities for different types of local rail routes.”

The main objective of the collaboration is to develop a modular and scalable traction system with fuel cells that can be integrated on-board the Mireo train platform, enabling it to operate in multiple ways.

The fuel cell technology is currently slated to be ready for service and integration on-board the train platform by 2021.