Siemens and Ballard Power Systems, a Canadian manufacturer of fuel cells, plan the joint development of a fuel cell drive for the Mireo train platform. Working together, the two companies intend to develop a new generation of fuel cells with an especially long lifecycle and high power density as well as improved efficiency.
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.
The German Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will support Siemens and RWTH Aachen with project funding of roughly €12 million as part of the Ministry’s “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program”. The program will be coordinated by the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH).