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Ballard Next-Gen Fuel Cell Modules to Power Freight Trucks in Canadian Hydrogen Project

Vancouver and Calgary, Canada – Ballard Power Systems announced that it will provide next-generation FCmove-HD fuel cell modules to power 2 tractor-trailer trucks as part of an industry-lead C$15 million (US$11.2 million) Alberta Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project.

The AZETEC project will test the ability of hydrogen to fuel the Province of Alberta’s heavy duty freight transportation sector and is seen as a first step in exploring a potential made-in-Alberta hydrogen economy.

Ballard will provide a total of 6 of the company’s FCmove-HD fuel cell modules – each generating 70 kilowatts (kW) of power – with 3 modules to be installed in each truck. These modules will utilize Ballard’s LCS technology, planned for commercial availability in 2019.

The AZETEC project is to help ensure the continuation of a timely, efficient and cost-effective supply chain of goods, transported by 64-tonne B-train tractor-trailers carrying very large freight loads over long distances. The project will test hydrogen as a zero-emissions alternative fuel to diesel, along with the refueling infrastructure and other systems that would be required for Alberta to implement this new fuel solution. The 3-year project also will investigate the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and airborne pollutants in Alberta’s freight transportation sector.

According to Ballard, the 64 tonne (gross vehicle weight) B-train tractor-trailers, developed for Alberta’s unique operating environment, will be capable of traveling up to 430 miles (700 km) between refuelings and will be operated by Alberta trucking companies Trimac Transportation and Bison Transport. By the end of the project the trucks will have travelled more than 300,000 miles (500,000 km) and carried about 12 million tonne-miles (20 million tonne-km) of freight.

Freight transportation accounts for almost 70% of diesel fuel demand in Alberta and contributes about 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year in the Province. The AZETEC project is scheduled to run until mid-2022 and will involve the design and manufacture of two heavy duty, extended range, hydrogen fuel cell electric hybrid trucks that will move freight year-round between the cities of Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing more than C$7.3 million (US$5.4 million) to the AZETEC project, which is led by the Alberta Motor Transportation Association. ERA is providing the funding through its competitive BEST Challenge program, which targets technologies that demonstrate the potential to reduce GHG emissions in Alberta and secure the Province’s success in a lower-carbon economy.

Source: IWR Online, 07 May 2019