Ballard signs LOI to power first-ever fuel cell tram-buses with Van Hool in France


Ballard Power System has accepted a Letter of Intent (LOI) to provide its FCveloCity 100kW fuel cell engines to power eight tram-buses being built by Van Hool NV.

Van Hool’s ExquiCity tram-buses will be delivered for use on transit networks in Pau, France during the second half of 2019.

Ballard says these will be the first hydrogen (H2) bus routes in France and the world’s first H2 tram-buses for a full BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system. These clean energy hybrid tram-buses will use fuel cells for primary power and lithium batteries for additional power when needed, with the only emission being water vapour. Each tram-bus is over 18 metres long (over 60ft), has capacity for 125 passengers and can operate more than 300km (185 miles) between H2 refuelling, which take just 10 minutes to complete.

In addition to its environmental benefits, hybrid fuel cell tram-buses offer a number of important advantages, including: the highest level of operational flexibility and productivity; high levels of passenger comfort and safety; lower cost than a traditional tram.

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