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Ballard Power Systems announced a fuel cell module order from Medha Servo Drives, a leading rail system integrator, who has been contracted by Indian Railways to develop India’s first hydrogen powered trains.
The two retrofitted diesel-electric commuter trains will integrate 8 units of 100 kW FCmoveTM-HD+, Ballard’s latest fuel cell technology, which offers improved efficiency and power density than previous module generations.
The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered trains was awarded to Medha as a first step in Indian Railways’ path to achieve their net zero ambitions. The fuel cell modules are expected to be shipped in 2023, with trains scheduled to go into service in 2024, with potential for additional retrofits following the initial deployment.
Indian Railways estimate their investment in the hydrogen fuel cell project to have a payback of less than two years as the cost of hydrogen is now less than diesel. These conversions are not only expected to be more economic than their diesel counterpart, but also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 11 metric tons and eliminate nearly a metric ton particulate matter per year.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ballard in the development of India’s first hydrogen powered trains. Rail transportation is a critical piece of infrastructure across India and we are proud to be taking the first steps to decarbonize this facet of our economy. With leading technology and strong project economics, we are optimistic about the future of zero emission rail transport,” said Mr. Kasyap Reddy, Managing Director of Medha Servo Drives.
“Our progress in decarbonizing the rail market is just beginning, as we work with leading rolling stock manufacturers, integrators and operators globally. This announcement with Medha exemplifies the growing need and progress being made to decarbonize global mobility. We are excited to grow our fuel cell business in India, and to power the first hydrogen powered, zero emission passenger trains in the Indian market,” said David Mucciacciaro, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer.