Ballard Power Systems has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with consortium partners to establish the H2OzBus Project.
H2OzBus will involve the evaluation and deployment of Fuel Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) for use in public transit in Australia. In the challenging conditions of Australia, hydrogen fuel cells improve the performance of electric buses through range extension and rapid refueling, providing a direct replacement for diesel vehicles without any compromise in operation or service. In addition, the use of ‘green hydrogen’ produced from renewable energy offers a flexible, scalable and low carbon refueling solution at the bus depot.
As a consortium member: Ballard will supply fuel cell systems for integration into FCEBs; ITM Power plc and BOC, a subsidiary of Linde plc, will provide hydrogen production and refueling infrastructure; Transit Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of the SeaLink Travel Group Limited, will operate the Fuel Cell Electric Buses as part of its daily urban transit operations; and Palisade Investment Partners will assist in providing funding and strategic financial oversight for the H2OzBus Project.
In the first phase of the H2OzBus Project, consortium members will collaborate to investigate infrastructure requirements and develop detailed plans for deployment of 100 Fuel Cell Electric Buses on routes in up to 10 central hub locations across Australia, where interest and demand for FCEBs has already been identified.
Clint Feuerherdt, SeaLink Travel Group CEO said, “The establishment of the H2OzBus group demonstrates our commitment to innovation and showcases the network and capabilities of our globally recognized transport group. It seeks to provide a “turn-key” solution to generate a “zero-emission” outcome in public transport. We are proud to work alongside our Government partners and agencies, as well as industry partners to ensure that our solutions continue to set the benchmark for what is possible.”
Randy MacEwen, Ballard CEO noted, “Formation of this new H2OzBus Project to address zero-emission public transit needs in Australia will provide bus operators with an alternative electric bus option with no compromise on performance and operation. Use cases requiring extended range, air conditioning and rapid refueling are an ideal fit for our fuel cell systems, which have been proven through more than 30 million kilometers of on-road experience to date.”
Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy was published in Q4 2019, stating in part that “One of the most exciting prospects for hydrogen is the transport sector – Australia’s largest end user of energy”. During that same quarter the New South Wales Government announced that it was seeking proposals to shift Sydney’s entire 8,000 strong bus fleet to all-electric, a landmark decision that set one of the first tangible policies to achieve the State’s goal of reaching zero net emissions by 2050. This ambition is now being reflected in other States and Territories across Australia. Fuel Cell Electric Buses are also aligned with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) priorities regarding hydrogen and industrial decarbonization.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems’ (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) vision is to deliver fuel cell power for a sustainable planet. Ballard zero-emission PEM fuel cells are enabling electrification of mobility, including buses, commercial trucks, trains, marine vessels, passenger cars, forklift trucks and UAVs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.