A Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems has been awarded an order for fuel cell modules from Siemens Mobility to power a fleet of seven Mireo Plus H passenger trains. Delivery of the 14 fuel cell modules with an output of 200 kW each is expected to start in 2023, with the fleet planned to be in service in the Berlin-Brandenburg region in late 2024.
In addition to this firm order, Siemens Mobility also signed a letter of intent with Ballard for the supply of 200 fuel cell modules totaling 40 MW over the next six years, including a firm commitment on 100 of the fuel cell modules totaling 20MW. The modules will be used for Siemen’s Mireo Plus H trains.
“This is a significant milestone for our multi-year collaboration efforts with Siemens Mobility and the future of zero-emission commuter rail in Europe. Our fuel cell technology is an ideal solution to support the heavy payload, long-range, and rapid refueling requirements of Siemen Mobility’s passenger train fleet. We look forward to our continued collaboration and are excited for the opportunity to support the Berlin and Brandenburg region’s first hydrogen-powered rail network,” said David Mucciacciaro, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We will continue our work to secure platform wins with key partners in our core verticals and to support their scaling plans to achieve decarbonization.”
“We can only meet climate change targets by increasing rail transportation. Our first order for a fleet of hydrogen-powered trains will enable emission-free rail transport on non-electrified routes in Germany,” said Jochen Steinbauer, Platform Director H2 Technologies at Siemens Mobility. “Our Mireo Plus H is a next-generation hydrogen train, featuring a longer range, faster acceleration, and state-of-the-art technologies, setting new standards in zero-emission passenger transport.”
Fuel cell trains such as the Mireo Plus H, which Deutsche Bahn will be used from 2024, are ready for the market, can be used seamlessly on non-electrified routes, and are capable of approximately 1,000 kilometers of range. Locally emission-free – an H2 railcar saves around 330 tons of CO2 per year – a significantly lower noise level and lower maintenance requirements when compared with diesel trains are all factors that favor this technology. This month, Siemens and Deutsche Bahn conducted a trial run of the hydrogen-powered train.