Ballard Power Systems and Siemens have been awarded roughly €12m to develop a fuel cell drive for the Siemens Mireo train platform.

Working together, the two companies intend to develop a new generation of fuel cells with an especially long lifecycle and high power density as well as improved efficiency. RWTH Aachen University is a partner in the research project. 

The German Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will support Siemens and RWTH Aachen with project funding of roughly €12m as part of the Ministry’s ‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme’.

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Source: Siemens

“We are seeing a rapid rise in demand for carbon dioxide (CO2)-free fuel cell technology. This applies to all sectors of passenger and freight transport, whether it is trains, trams, buses or trucks,” says Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems.

“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,” added Sabrina Soussan, CEO of the Siemens Mobility Division.

The long-term goal of the cooperation is to develop a modular and scalable traction system with fuel cells that will be integrated into the Mireo train platform. With such a system, the Mireo can flexibly operate in various ways – battery-electric as well as on routes without overhead lines – with the help of hydrogen (H2)-fuelled trains. The fuel cell technology is to be ready for service by 2021, and its integration in additional vehicle platforms will follow.

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Source: Siemens