Siemens and Ballard together develop fuel cell drive for trains BMVI provides funding of almost twelve million euro Commuter and regional train platform Mireo to be reference vehicle Zero-emission operation, free of overhead lines

Siemens and Ballard Power Systems Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of fuel cells, are planning the joint development of a fuel cell drive for the Siemens train platform: Mireo. Together the two companies want to develop a new generation of fuel cells, which have a particularly long service life and power density as well as improved efficiency. The RWTH Aachen University is a partner of the research project. Siemens and RWTH Aachen will be provided with funding of almost 12 million euro for the project from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) through the “National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology”. The programme will be coordinated by the NOW GmbH National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

The long-term goal of the cooperation is the development of a modular, scalable traction modular system with fuel cells, to be integrated in the Mireo train platform. In this way the Mireo can service difference application areas – whether battery-electric or without overhead lines with the aid of hydrogen-operated vehicles. The fuel cell is scheduled to be ready for use in 2021. Integration in other vehicle platforms is to follow.

Siemens’ new commuter and regional platform Mireo was especially developed for sustainable and flexible deployment and is therefore ideal for the testing of an alternative drive. Its lightweight construction, energy-efficient components and an intelligent, on-board electrical system management mean that the Mireo, compared to trains with similar passenger capacities, consumes up to 25 per cent less energy.