Ballard Power Systems has signed a development agreement with Siemens AG for the development of a zero-emission fuel cell engine to power Siemens’ Mireo light rail train. The agreement has a contemplated value of approximately $9 million to Ballard.
Under the terms of the deal, Ballard will develop a 200 kW fuel cell engine for integration into Siemens’ new Mireo train platform. Mireo is a modular commuter train platform designed for speeds of up to 160 km/hour (100 miles/hour). Thanks to lightweight design, energy-efficient components and intelligent onboard network management, the Mireo will consume up to 25% less energy than trains with similar passenger capacity, according to the partners. Initial deployments of the fuel-cell-powered Mireo train are planned for 2021.
Sabrina Soussan, CEO of the mobility division at Siemens, says, “Our cooperation with Ballard is a decisive step toward 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.”
Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s president and CEO, adds, “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.”