Ballard Power Systems, Vancouver, BC, announced it has signed a Master Supply Agreement (MSA) with Hyster-Yale Group for the supply of minimum annual volumes of Ballard FCgen-1020 air-cooled fuel cell stacks for use in powering Class 3 lift trucks and support on the design of a fuel cell electric propulsion system to power these lift trucks. The MSA runs until 2022.
In 2014 Hyster-Yale acquired Nuvera, a move that activated a strategy to design purpose-built, optimized fuel cell-powered lift trucks, and put in place expertise and capabilities for fuel cells.
This collaboration with Ballard, Nuvera, and Hyster-Yale will focus on air-cooled stacks for low power applications, complementing the existing Nuvera fuel cell solutions.
Ballard also announced it has received a purchase order from Van Hool NV, the Belgian bus manufacturer, for 40 FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules to power buses under the Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (“JIVE”) funding programs. The purchase order is further to Ballard’s announcement of a Letter of Intent, which was issued on February 28, 2018.
Ballard expects to make initial shipments of the FCveloCity-HD 85 kilowatt modules later in 2018, with initial deliveries of buses expected in 2019. Van Hool plans to deploy 30 buses with the Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH transit agency in Cologne, Germany, and the remaining 10 buses with WSW mobil GmbH transit agency in Wuppertal, Germany.
“This is the largest order ever for fuel cell buses in Europe and will be the first deployments under the JIVE I program,” said Rob Campbell, Ballard chief commercial officer. “Transit buses are an excellent example of a strong fit for fuel cell technology, which is able to meet the key requirements of long range, rapid refueling, heavy payload and full route flexibility. We are excited to see the growing interest in Europe for the use of our zero-emission power products.”
Europe’s JIVE funding programs are intended to pave the way to commercialization of fuel cell electric buses by coordinating procurement activities to unlock economies-of-scale and reduce costs as well as supporting new hydrogen refueling stations. The JIVE I program targets deployment of 139 fuel cell buses in nine locations and the JIVE II program targets a further deployment of 152 buses in 14 locations – for a total of 291 fuel cell buses to be deployed in European cities. These programs are supported by a total of €57 million in grants from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).