Ballard Power Systems has received follow-on purchase orders for 15 of its 85 kW heavy-duty FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules from Wrightbus, a leading bus OEM and Ballard partner headquartered in Northern Ireland, to power Fuel Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) planned for deployment in the UK.
Wrightbus was recently re-capitalized by Bamford Bus Company, after having gone into administration last year.
Including the new order for 15 modules, Ballard currently has orders in-hand from Wrightbus for a total of 50 modules to power FCEBs in the UK, 35 of which were previously announced in 2019.
Of those 35 modules, 20 are to power buses planned for deployment in London and 15 are for buses planned for deployment in Aberdeen. Ballard expects to ship all 50 modules in 2020.
Earlier this year the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced a 5-year, £5-billion (US$6.4-billion) plan to enhance bus and bicycle infrastructure in the country, together with deployment of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses, with further details expected in a National Bus Strategy to be published later in 2020.
Ballard, Wrightbus and Ryse Hydrogen—also a Bamford-owned business—are founding members of the H2Bus Consortium, announced in June 2019 and focused on deployment of at least 1,000 zero-emission Fuel Cell Electric Buses and related infrastructure in European cities at commercially competitive rates. Ryse Hydrogen is working toward the creation of a green hydrogen ecosystem for the production, distribution and dispensing of clean hydrogen fuel.
In the broader European context, the European Commission has introduced “A European Green Deal”, striving to become the first climate-neutral continent with no net emissions of greenhouse gases, by 2050. In addition, the European Commission’s Clean Vehicle Directive (CVD) is expected to be an important driver behind the adoption of zero-emission buses across the entire continent. The CVD sets minimum targets for zero-emission buses, varying for each EU member within the following ranges:
24% to 45% of bus purchases in the 2021-25 timeframe should be clean vehicles; and
33% to 65% of bus purchases in the 2026-30 timeframe should be clean vehicles.
In addition, 50% of the minimum CVD target for each country must be fulfilled by procuring zero-emission buses, including Fuel Cell Electric Buses, defined as a vehicle emitting less than 1g CO2/kWh or less than 1g CO2/km.
Ballard currently has orders in-hand from multiple bus OEMs—including Wrightbus—for a total of 127 fuel cell modules to power FCEBs in at least 7 cities in the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, all under the Joint Initiative For Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe (JIVE) program funded by FCH-JU.