More Auto Heavyweights Join Trucking Fuel Cell Race

Mahle has teamed up with Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems in a bid to accelerate hydrogen’s adoption in heavy duty truck fleets.

The move follows Bosch’s commitment to promoting the zero-emission powertrain technology that’s better suited to long-distance heavy goods vehicles than is BEV. The expressed long-term goal of the latest cooperation is to manufacture complete fuel cell systems for the European, North American, and Asian markets.

During the first phase of the cooperation, Ballard will be responsible for system design relating to the fuel cell stack while Mahle will bring its extensive experience in the areas of thermal management, power electronics and packaging.

Mahle has been a series supplier for fuel cell vehicles for several years. The technology group based in Stuttgart, Germany, enjoys a position in the complex air intake system, the electronics, and the temperature control of fuel cell systems. The company is now expanding its application portfolio for hydrogen and also lobbies politically for support for fuel cell technology and hydrogen combustion.

Dr Jörg Stratmann, chairman of the Mahle management board and CEO, said: “Hydrogen as a climate-neutral energy carrier is the solution for CO2-neutral mobility and the achievement of climate targets for medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Through our cooperation with Ballard, we will provide a strong stimulus to the development of fuel cell drives that are suitable for large-scale production.

Randy MacEwen, CEO of Ballard Power Systems, added:  “Given increasing policy support for low-emission powertrains in particular, we are pleased to work with Mahle on driving forward our shared vision of carbon-neutral heavy-duty transport.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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