Ballard announces Audi hydrogen fuel cell technology collabSeptember 24, 2020
As other carmakers step back from H2 related tech in favor of battery electric, this collaboration is holding.
Ballard Power Systems announced this week that it was working on a new Audi hydrogen fuel cell stack technology with the automaker.
The tech in question is the new FCgen HPS stack for light-, medium- and even heavy-duty vehicles.
Aside from the Audi hydrogen fuel cell tech partnership, Ballard holds the rights to use this new H2 cell stack for a number of different applications. Among them are aerospace, marine, rail, and construction. The collaboration with the automaker has to do with a non-binding memorandum of understanding Ballard signed with it to broaden the use of the technology to include passenger cars and commercial trucks.
Audi has yet to disclose its intentions for producing hydrogen powered vehicles. However, it once produced a small demo fleet of A7 fastbacks that were powered by fuel cells. That it has signed on with Ballard suggests that its interest in the renewable energy has been refreshed.
The Ballard and Audi hydrogen fuel cell tech agreement is currently moving against the trend.
The majority of other automakers that had expressed interest in passenger vehicles powered by fuel cells have changed directions. They have either been scaling back their efforts with this renewable energy or have essentially abandoned them altogether.
Among the most notable moves of this nature occurred earlier this year, when Mercedes-Benz announced the cessation of its fuel cell development for passenger cars. In terms of the use of this renewable energy, it has placed all its focus on the potential for commercial trucks through Daimler AG, its parent company.
Similarly, General Motors also recently announced its decision to step back from the use of H2 in passenger vehicles. That said, it has also kept up its efforts in commercial and military vehicle applications.
The majority of other automakers around the world have also kept up this same mindset. Though Hyundai maintains its ambitious plans for a hydrogen society and is the leading seller of H2 powered vehicles, it is finding the limited infrastructure in the United States to be a challenging barrier.
Still, the Ballard and Audi hydrogen fuel cell tech collaboration isn’t alone. BMW has kept up its own investment into the tech in an agreement with Toyota.