Ballard to deliver hydrogen fuel cells for CPKC

fuel cell enginesCanadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) ordered from Ballard Power Systems additional fuel cell engines for the new hydrogen locomotive programme.

The rail company will acquire 18 200 kW fuel cell engines that are planned to be delivered by the end of this year.

Over the past two years, Ballard has supplied CPKC with 20 fuel cell engines for use in three different types of locomotives, with combined fuel cell power of 4MW.

“Our hydrogen locomotive programme has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from locomotive operations, supporting the transition to a lower-carbon future in the freight rail sector. We are excited to expand development of these pioneering zero-emission locomotives with collaborators like Ballard,” Kyle Mulligan, AVP Operations Technology at CPKC said.

These locomotives have been undergoing field testing in 2022 and early 2023 with successful tests, proving the capabilities of Ballard’s hydrogen fuel cell technology in locomotive applications.

Further development on range across temperature variations, heavy hauling, fine tuning auxiliary load to avoid waste, increased number of hours on current and additional units will support continued technological evolution. The success of these trials, combined with the need to achieve CPKC’s emissions goals, has resulted in the significant expansion of the original hydrogen locomotive programme.

“We are thrilled to support our partner, CPKC, as they expand their development of fuel cell-powered locomotives to decarbonize critical transportation routes. Our teams have been working hand-in-hand to ensure success of this program and we are excited for the future with CPKC to help scale their growing hydrogen fleet,” Seungsoo Jung, Ballard’s Vice President of Rail & Emerging Markets said.

In December 2020, Canadian Pacific Kansas City announced its plans to develop the first line-haul hydrogen locomotive in the North America by retrofitting a diesel freight locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to drive the locomotive’s electric traction motors. These locomotives will help CPKC to meet its climate goals by adapting its business and operations to cut its GHG emissions.

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