© Solaris
© Solaris

Ballard to supply 1,000 fuel cells to Solaris Bus & Coach

Ballard Power Systems is set to supply a total of 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell units to Polish-based Solaris Bus & Coach under a new long-term supply agreement (LTSA).

Made up existing orders for around 300 fuel cell engines, the LTSA adds a new supply commitment for an “incremental” 700 fuel cell systems – representing the largest order in Ballard’s history.

Around 80% of the units will be Ballard’s FCmove® HD 70kW systems, while the remaining 20% will be the HD+ 100kW units to meet Solaris’ 12-metre and 18-metre bus requirements.

With deliveries set to start in 2024 and run through to the end of 2027, the units are expected to be deployed in buses across Europe.

Currently operating Ballard fuel cell-powered buses in over 22 European cities, Solaris’ CEO, Javier Iriarte, hopes the new LTSA will further progress the hydrogen fuel cell bus market.

“To date, we have delivered nearly 200 hydrogen-powered buses and another over 500 units are in our orderbook for the next two years,” he added.

The company has two hydrogen-powered variants within its arsenal: the Urbino 18 utilising a 100kW fuel cells, and the Urbino 12 using a 70kW fuel cell.

Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard, said the LTSA was a “testament” to the fuel cell OEM’s collaboration with Solaris.

He said, “We are on the road to achieving scaled deployment of fuel cell buses, which is a critical lever to facilitate economies of scale and cost down initiatives, driving improved economics and reduced emissions for fleet operators.”

Ballard recently secured $40m of funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support the development of a 3GW fuel cell gigafactory in Texas.

Read more: Ballard utilises US funding to support the development of 3GW fuel cell gigafactory

Europe a ‘strategic’ market for Ballard Power Systems

Hot on the heels of construction to build a centre of excellence dedicated to fuel cell marine applications in Hobro, Denmark, Ballard Power Systems Europe is expanding again. Work is currently underway at the same site to extend Ballard’s existing facilities by around 470m2, and the new extension has been described as an “important step in the company’s focus on the European market” – a market which has resulted in significant growth and the creation of more jobs in recent years.

“Europe is a strategic market for Ballard,” Nina Caroline Hjorth, Director of Strategy & Market Development at Ballard Power Systems Europe, said. “It has strong drivers to support the development of our technology. And Europe is shifting away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in general towards zero-emission transportation. That’s why it’s an obvious place to be focusing for company like us.”

“We see increased incentives and government funding also supporting this transition and the growth of our industry. As one of Europe’s leading fuel cell companies, our investments in our facilities are important steps towards strengthening not only our European commitment, but also to foster active collaboration with the European hydrogen and fuel cell ecosystem…

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