Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard and First Mode sign order for 30 hydrogen fuel cells for diesel-free mining trucks

by CM staff   

Manufacturing Automotive Cleantech Ballard diesel-free First Mode hybrid hydrogen hydrogen fuel cells mining trucks

The trucks are estimated to save 2,600 tons of diesel fuel each year.

Ballard to power First Mode’s hybrid hydrogen and battery powertrain for ultra-class mining haul trucks (CNW Group/Ballard Power Systems Inc.)

VANCOUVER — Ballard Power Systems and global carbon reduction company First Mode announced a purchase order for Ballard to supply First Mode with 30 hydrogen fuel cell modules – totaling three megawatts – to power several hybrid hydrogen and battery ultra-class mining haul trucks. This is the equivalent of approximately 4,000 horsepower.

“Every one of the Ballard fuel cell modules that First Mode retrofits into an ultra-class haul truck means an immediate reduction in diesel fuel use and moving the mining industry another step closer to decarbonization,” said Julian Soles, First Mode CEO. “We’re excited to continue to innovate with Ballard. Utilizing hydrogen and battery technology in our nuGen™ systems allows our customers to achieve the best haul truck performance and range without sacrificing availability.”

The 30 Ballard hydrogen fuel cell modules will be integrated into clean energy powerplants built in Seattle, Washington and installed into ultra-class haul trucks to be operated at First Mode’s Proving Grounds in Centralia, Washington. These trucks are estimated to save 2,600 tons of diesel fuel each year.

“We are excited to expand our important collaboration with First Mode,” said David Mucciacciaro, COO, Ballard. “The mining industry annually contributes up to 7 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions and roughly half of these emissions comes from mobile diesel applications, including haul trucks. Together with First Mode, we are continuing to demonstrate a viable pathway to decarbonize mining trucks by using Ballard’s leading hydrogen fuel cells. These additional truck deployments highlight the opportunities ahead for fuel cell commercialization in hard-to-abate sectors.”


First Mode is now working to scale production for the next generation of clean energy powerplants. In January 2023, First Mode entered into a global supply agreement with Anglo American to retrofit over 400 ultra-class haul trucks with First Mode’s nuGen™ solution, including fuel cell and battery powerplant and related infrastructure. The Ballard fuel cells will be integrated into the next several powerplants built by First Mode.


Stories continue below