Ballard to power Talgo fuel cell passenger train in European trial

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Ballard Power Systems has signed an agreement with Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo to supply fuel cell modules for its new Vittal-One hydrogen train, which will be trialed in early 2022.

The Equipment Supply Agreement will see Ballard provide eight of its 70 kW FCmoveTM-HD fuel cell modules for the trials of the Talgo Vittal-One commuter and regional passenger train.

Talgo plans to conduct its demonstration in early 2022 in Spain, with expected commercialization in 2023.

Emilio Garcia, Talgo innovation director said, “Green hydrogen is no longer the future, it is a reality. The implementation of hydrogen trains, such as the one Talgo is developing, will improve mobility and have a positive impact on the environment by replacing diesel technology. It will allow us to make the most of the non-electrified railways in many countries, while reducing the carbon footprint.

“The announcement earlier this year of EU policies to accelerate decarbonization further validate this key step in early adoption of hydrogen trains in order to achieve these greenhouse gas reduction goals,” Garcia continued.

The modular hydrogen system being designed by Talgo is intended for installation on all types of passenger trains, as well as in upgrades or retrofits from diesel to hydrogen power. The system utilizes hydrogen and fuel cells for propulsion, complemented by batteries that assist the train from a standing start and take advantage of the braking system for recharging.

Oben Uluc, Ballard director of sales for EMEA and India noted, “This relationship is another sign of the growing momentum in deployment of zero-emission fuel cell propulsion solutions in the rail industry across numerous geographies. Fuel cell systems enable conventional rail networks to realize the benefits of electrification without the cost and infrastructure challenges of overhead catenary wiring.”

In the July issue of Electric & Hybrid Rail Technology magazine, editor Helen Norman spoke to Talgo’s Emilio Garcia, innovation director about the development of the new Vittal-One. Click here to read more.