Business World of Renewable Energy

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Ballard Power Receives Major Order for Fuel Cell Buses from Germany

Vancouver, Canada and Hobro, Denmark - Ballard Power Systems announced a purchase order from Solaris Bus & Coach S.A., a leading European bus and trolleybus manufacturer and Ballard partner headquartered in Bolechowo, Poland, for 25 of the Company’s new 70 kilowatt heavy-duty FCmove-HD fuel cell modules.

These 25 modules will power 15 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses planned for deployment in Cologne, Germany and 10 Urbino 12 hydrogen buses planned for deployment in Wuppertal, Germany, all under the Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe (“JIVE 2”) funding program.

The Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen model Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) - capable of traveling 350 kilometers on a single hydrogen refueling - was introduced in 2019. The bus incorporates an axle with two electric motors and is equipped with a climate control system utilizing heat generated by the fuel cell module. Shipments of the 25 FCmove-HD modules to Solaris will begin in 2020 and extend into 2021 to match the timing for the bus builds and deployments.

“Ballard is delighted with our ongoing collaboration with Solaris and we are very pleased to now provide next-generation FCmove-HD fuel cell power modules for bus deployments in Cologne and Wuppertal,” said Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer. “These German cities have previously ordered 45 fuel cell buses powered by Ballard. The combined fleet will be the largest fuel cell bus fleet yet in Europe highlighting the benefits of simple refueling, long range and zero emission operation. Ballard powered fuel cell buses in service now exceed 70 buses in Europe.”

Ballard Power sees great potential for the further development of the market for fuel-cell-powered electric buses in Europe and, in addition to the current order from Germany, refers to the plans announced this week from Great Britain: The U.K. Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a 5-year, €5 billion (US$5.65 billion) plan to enhance bus and bicycle infrastructure in the country – including new routes, expanded bus lanes, more affordable fares together with deployment of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses. Full details of the bus funding program, with its focus on improving and increasing green mobility journeys, is expected to be announced in a National Bus Strategy to be published later in 2020.

“As I noted on our recent Q4 and full year 2019 results conference call, the European market presents a tremendous opportunity for deployment of fuel cell-powered Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive applications, including buses, commercial trucks, trains and marine vessels. This is particularly true for use cases requiring extended range, rapid refueling and heavy payload, which includes many urban transit buses”, said Ballard President and CEO Randy MacEwen.

However, the bold plan announced this week by the U.K. Department for Transport represents a significant leading edge of the anticipated rapid growth in zero-emission fuel cell-powered buses as we move forward in Europe. There is a consensus that fuel cells are a reliable and high-performance zero-emission solution – we are now focused on growing deployments of FCEBs and other Heavy- and Medium-Duty vehicles in Europe and other key markets, MacEwen added.

Source: IWR Online, 13 Mar 2020