Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard inks deal to power Chinese commuter trains with fuel cells

The agreement includes 2016 delivery of 10 customized FCvelocity modules and is worth about $6 million



VANCOUVER—Hydrogen fuel cell maker Ballard Power Systems has signed a joint development agreement and a supply agreement to develop and commercialize a fuel cell engine specifically designed to power low-floor trams manufactured by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company, Ltd. (CRRC Sifang), a Chinese rolling stock manufacturer.

The agreements include 2016 delivery of 10 customized FCvelocity modules and the agreements have an initial value expected to be approximately $6 million.

Ballard plans to develop a new prototype configuration of its FCvelocity fuel cell module to deliver 200 kilowatts of net power for use in powering trams in urban deployments. An initial deployment of eight fuel cell-powered trams is planned by CRRC Sifang and the City of Foshan on the Gaoming Line starting in 2017.

“We are pleased with the strong relationship we are developing with CRRC Sifang, a company with a rich history of innovation in Chinese rail transit, to pursue the China market opportunity for fuel cell powered trams,” said Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s President and CEO.

CRRC Sifang, based in Qingdao, Shandong province was established in 1900. CRRC Sifang has a yearly production capacity of 200 high-speed electric multiple units (EMUs), 1,000 mass transit vehicles and 300 high-grade passenger cars. In March 2015, a Ballard fuel cell module powered the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered fixed rail electric tram that was successfully demonstrated at a ceremonial event held at CRRC Sifang’s head office, production and testing facility.

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