MAHLE Powertrain and Bramble Energy have agreed to continue their collaboration to develop Bramble’s Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC) hydrogen fuel cell technology. (Earlier post.) The phase 1 demonstrator vehicle was launched at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show. Bramble Energy’s innovative PCBFC technology significantly reduces the manufacturing cost of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.
Hydrogen fuel cells offer an alternative to the heavy batteries and long recharge times that other electric vehicle technologies suffer from, and that makes them particularly relevant to the commercial vehicle sector as it looks to meet net zero CO2 emissions targets. Our work with Bramble Energy has demonstrated that their innovative PCBFC technology represents a cost-effective route to the adoption of fuel cell propulsion for commercial vehicles.—Dr. Mike Bassett, MAHLE Powertrain’s Head of research & advanced engineering
While conventional fuel cell stacks rely on stamped plates to hold the various layers, Bramble Energy’s approach leverages PCB manufacturing technology, which can be produced cheaply, in virtually any shape using flexible production techniques.
MAHLE Powertrain was chosen as the project’s integration partner due to its decade-long experience in powertrain technology integration and its expertise in EV control systems and thermal management. Its recent Memorandum of Understanding with Bramble strengthens the duo’s relationship ahead of the development of the phase 2 demonstrator.
The phase 1 results of the collaboration are based around a Renault Kangoo ZE delivery vehicle that sees a 5 kW Bramble Energy fuel cell integrated into the powertrain acting as a range extender. Future development will focus on creating a derivative with a higher power output and increased overall efficiency.