Fuel cell powered trams could soon be plying Chinese passenger routes after US company Ballard inked a $US3 million deal to develop a module for Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co.
The deal follows an initial framework agreement set out by both the companies in June, and moved the concept closer to the commercialisation phase. Ballard aims to design an initial prototype by 2016.
Ballard s president and CEO, Randy MacEwen, said: “The growing need for mass transit solutions in China, together with acknowledgement of the severe air quality issues, certainly makes fuel cell-powered trams an intriguing market opportunity.
Ballard is well positioned to address this opportunity, given our ongoing work with TRC.”
Ballard will be responsible to develop a next-generation fuel cell power module designed particularly for use in the TRC s Modern Ground Rail Transit Equipment.
Having a lifespan of at least 20,000 operating hours, the product would deliver at least 200 kilowatts of power.