"We are seeing a rapid rise in demand for CO2-free fuel cell technology. This applies to all sectors of passenger and freight transport, whether it is trains, trams, buses or trucks," says Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems.
"Our cooperation with Ballard marks a decisive step being taken to replace diesel-powered rail vehicles with emission-free vehicles in order to provide sustainable and climate-friendly mobility over the long term. We want to be able to offer our customers flexible train solutions – that vary depending on regional conditions and technical possibilities – for different types of local rail routes," says Sabrina Soussan, CEO of the Siemens Mobility Division.
The long-term goal of the cooperation is to develop a modular and scalable traction system with fuel cells that will be integrated into the Mireo train platform. With such a system, the Mireo can flexibly operate in various ways – battery-electric as well as on routes without overhead lines – with the help of hydrogen-fueled trains. The fuel cell technology is to be ready for service by 2021, and its integration in additional vehicle platforms will follow.
The new Mireo regional and commuter platform from Siemens was specially developed for sustainable and flexible operations, and is thus predestined for the testing of an alternative drive system. Thanks to its lightweight construction, energy-efficient components and intelligent electrical system management, the Mireo uses up to 25 percent less energy compared to trains with similar passenger capacity.