Siemens, Ballard Power Systems, and RWTH Aachen University will receive 12 million euros in funding through the German government. The partners are to develop efficient fuel cells for Siemens Mireo trains and want to put them in service by 2021.
It is a joint development project funded by the German Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). Siemens and Canadian Ballard plan to come up with a fuel cell drive for the Siemens Mireo train platform. Together, the two companies aim for a new generation of fuel cells with an especially long lifecycle and high power density as well as improved efficiency. RWTH Aachen University is a research partner in the project.
The Mireo is a regional and commuter platform designed to allow flexible operations. Hence, the yet to build fuel cell option is to take the form of a modular and scalable traction system with fuel cells integrated into the train. Siemens says that in this way, the Mireo can flexibly operate battery-electric as well as on routes without overhead lines. The fuel cell technology is to be ready for service by 2021, and its integration in additional vehicle platforms will follow, Siemens says.
The funding is part of the German ministry’s “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program” coordinated by the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).