Ballard to supply 30 hydrogen fuel cells to First Mode for mining trucks

For the purpose of powering many hybrid hydrogen and battery ultra-class mining haul trucks, First Mode signed a purchase agreement with Ballard to provide 30 hydrogen fuel cell modules, totaling 3 megawatts. This is roughly 4,000 horsepower’s equivalent.

“Every one of the Ballard fuel cell modules that First Mode retrofits into an ultra-class haul truck means an immediate reduction in diesel fuel use and moving the mining industry another step closer to decarbonization,” said Julian Soles, First Mode CEO.

The 30 Ballard hydrogen fuel cell modules will be installed on ultra-class haul trucks that will be used at First Mode’s Proving Grounds in Centralia, Washington, and integrated into clean energy power facilities being built in Seattle, Washington. It is predicted that these vehicles annually save 2,600 tons of diesel fuel.

Production scaling for the following generation of clean energy powerplants is now being done by First Mode. First Mode and Anglo American signed a global supply deal in January 2023 for First Mode to upgrade over 400 ultra-class haul trucks with its nuGen technology, which includes a fuel cell and battery powertrain as well as supporting infrastructure. The following power plants that First Mode builds will incorporate the Ballard fuel cells.

In order to supply fuel cells for First Mode’s 2-megawatt hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and battery powerplant in Seattle, Washington, the two companies first collaborated in 2019. Anglo American’s Platinum Group Metals mine in Mogalakwena, South Africa, now employs a 300-ton Komatsu 930E-4 ultra-class haul truck with a clean energy powerplant in place of a diesel engine.

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