CP Hydrogen Locomotive Program to receive Ballard fuel cell modules

CP Hydrogen Locomotive Program to receive Ballard fuel cell modules

March 12, 2021 3 By Bret Williams

The companies announced that they will be working together to provide the 1.2 megawatts of H2 electricity.

Canadian Pacific (CP) and Ballard Power Systems have announced that the CP Hydrogen Locomotive Program will be powered by Ballard fuel cell modules. They will provide the train with 1.2 megawatts of emission-free electricity.

This decision is meant to take the next step forward in CP’s efforts to cut carbon emissions.

“With this purchase from Ballard, a leader in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, CP further demonstrates its commitment to developing the next generation of locomotive – one that produces zero emissions,” said Keith Creel, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific. “How we power our trains matters to our customers, employees, shareholders and to the communities we operate in. This technology holds the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight train operations, which already represent the most efficient method of moving goods over land.”

CP created its Hydrogen Locomotive Program to develop the first H2-powered line-haul freight locomotive in North America. To do this, a locomotive formerly powered by diesel fuel is being retrofitted using Ballard H2 fuel cells. This tech works with batteries to power the electric traction motors of the locomotive.

The first Hydrogen Locomotive Program retrofit will help CP to evaluate the technology.

CP will use the first retrofitted locomotive to measure and evaluate the viability of the hydrogen fuel cell technology for the freight-rail sector.

Ballard’s initial delivery to CP will involve six of the company’s 200-kilowatt fuel cell modules. These will be shipped before the close of 2021. The company will provide integration support for adding the modules to the locomotive.

“We are excited to be working with CP, an industry leader in the North American rail sector. CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program will develop North America’s first hydrogen and fuel cell-powered line-haul freight locomotive. In addition to Ballard’s work focused on powering commuter trains in Europe and urban trams in China, CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program in North America underscores the strong fit for zero-emission fuel cells to power heavy- and medium-duty motive applications, including Hydrogen Locomotive Program - CP train in Canadatrains, for which it is otherwise difficult to abate emissions,” explained Ballard President and CEO Randy MacEwen while discussing the company’s role in the Hydrogen Locomotive Program.

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