Ballard Power Systems signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ford Trucks to supply a fuel cell system as part of the development of a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle prototype. The partnership includes an initial purchase order for two FCmove-XD 120 kW fuel cell engines that are planned to be delivered by Ballard to Ford Trucks in 2023.
Ballard’s FCmove-XD is the next-generation heavy duty fuel cell power module for use in zero-emission vehicles such as heavy duty trucks and bus coaches.
Ford Trucks, the global brand of Ford Otosan, plans to develop a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) F-MAX as part of the project. The 120 kW FCmove-XD fuel cell engines are planned to be integrated into Ford Trucks’ F-MAX 44-ton long-haul tractor truck. Ford Trucks plans to build and assemble the fuel cell-powered F-MAX in Turkey and aims to commence European Ten-T corridor demonstrations in 2025 as part of the European Union’s Horizon Europe ZEFES (Zero Emission Freight EcoSystem) project goals.
As per the LOI, upon the successful completion of the development program and subject to certain other conditions, Ballard may be named as the preferred supplier for the serial production of the fuel cell-powered F-MAX.
In the ZEFES project, four truck OEMs, two trailer OEMs, suppliers, logistic operators, and research partners will work together towards the overall goal of accelerating the integration of ZEVs for long distance heavy transport. This work plans to focus on efficiency improvements, mass production capabilities, and demonstrating the use of the technologies in daily operations.
In 2025, nine different vehicle concepts (four FCEV and five BEV) are expected to run more than 1 million kilometers across EU corridors in real daily operations, guided and validated by a digital platform (to be developed within the project). This project is expected to be a significant step forward for ZEV adoption in the freight transport ecosystem. Vehicles are expected to carry more than 40 tonnes for distances up to 750 km, averaging 500 km in daily operation.
Ford Trucks had previously completed the design of a single-cylinder internal combustion engine for heavy commercial vehicles using hydrogen fuel for the first time, as well as the first engine start-up and ignition activity. Ford continues to conduct engine development experiments.