Ballard Power Systems has signed a joint development agreement and a supply agreement to develop and commercialize a fuel cell module specifically designed for integration into 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 (kW) of net power for use in powering trams in urban deployments. An initial deployment of 8 fuel cell-powered trams is planned by CRRC Sifang and the City of Foshan on the Gaoming Line starting in 2017.
CRRC Sifang, based in Qingdao, Shandong province, 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 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.