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Ballard and Ford Trucks partner to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicle prototype

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The 120 kW FCmove-XDTM fuel cell engines are planned to be integrated into Ford Trucks' F-MAX 44-ton long-haul tractor truck. Adobe Stock Images

Ballard Power Systems will supply a fuel cell system to Ford Trucks as part of the development of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle prototype. The letter of intent (LOI) includes an initial purchase order for 2 FCmove-XD 120 kW fuel cell engines that are planned to be delivered by Ballard to Ford Trucks in 2023.

Ford Trucks plans to develop a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) F-MAX as part of the project. The 120 kW FCmove-XDTM fuel cell engines are planned to be integrated into Ford Trucks' F-MAX 44-ton long-haul tractor truck. Ford Trucks plans to build and assemble the fuel cell-powered F-MAX in Turkey and aims to commence European Ten-T corridor demonstrations in 2025 as part of the European Union's Horizon Europe ZEFES (zero emission freight ecosystem) project goals. As per the LOI, upon the successful completion of the development program and subject to certain other conditions, Ballard may be named as the preferred supplier for the serial production of the fuel cell-powered F-MAX.

In the ZEFES project, four truck OEMs, two trailer OEMs, suppliers, logistic operators, and research partners will work together toward the goal of accelerating the integration of ZEVs for long-distance heavy transport. This work plans to focus on efficiency improvements, mass production capabilities, and demonstrating the use of the technologies in daily operations. In 2025, nine different vehicle concepts (four FCEVs and five BEVs) are expected to run over one million kilometres across EU corridors in real daily operations, guided and validated by a digital platform (to be developed within the project). Vehicles are expected to carry over 40 tonnes for distances up to 750 kilometres, averaging 500 kilometres in daily operation.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Ford Trucks to facilitate market adoption in Europe. We look forward to validating Ballard as their preferred fuel cell supplier and to support the integration of their heavy-duty truck platform," said David Mucciacciaro, Ballard's chief commercial officer. "Ford Trucks is an important 'platform' win for Ballard and a key partner for our high growth potential truck vertical. We are excited by their ambition towards scaled deployments of F-MAX fuel cell trucks. Our FCmove-XDTM is an outstanding match for the range, refuelling, payload, and packaging requirements of long-haul tractor customers."

"At Ford Trucks, we invest in alternative technologies that will define the automobile industry's future in accordance with our sustainability aims. Electrification, followed by hydrogen technology, is one of our top priorities. Our first fuel cell electric-powered Vehicle F-MAX, which we will develop as part of the ZEFES project, will be a significant milestone," said Ford Trucks' Vice President Emrah Duman. 

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