Ford Trucks and Ballard Power Systems have joined forces to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle prototype. This groundbreaking partnership aims to advance the adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) for long-distance heavy transport and contribute to sustainability goals.
Ford Trucks, the global brand of Ford Otosan, is taking a bold step in its commitment to sustainability by venturing into hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company plans to develop a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) F-MAX as part of the project. This F-MAX 44-ton long-haul tractor truck will be equipped with Ballard Power Systems’ 120 kW FCmove-XD fuel cell engines, paving the way for a greener future in heavy-duty transportation.
Ballard Power Systems, a leading provider of fuel cell solutions, will supply the fuel cell system for the F-MAX prototype. The FCmove-XD fuel cell engines are well-suited for long-haul tractor trucks, offering the range, refueling, payload, and packaging requirements essential for heavy-duty transportation. This partnership marks a significant win for Ballard in the truck vertical market, opening doors for scaled deployments of fuel cell trucks.
The joint effort by Ford Trucks and Ballard Power Systems is part of the European Union’s Horizon Europe ZEFES (Zero Emission Freight EcoSystem) project. This ambitious initiative brings together four truck OEMs, two trailer OEMs, suppliers, logistics operators, and research partners to accelerate the integration of ZEVs for long-distance heavy transport. The project aims to focus on efficiency improvements, mass production capabilities, and real-world demonstrations to drive ZEV adoption.
Within the ZEFES project, nine different vehicle concepts, including four FCEVs and five BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), are expected to cover over 1 million kilometers across EU corridors in daily operations by 2025. The trucks will be guided and validated by a digital platform developed within the project. This massive endeavor will showcase the capabilities of zero-emission freight transport and demonstrate the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology in the commercial trucking industry.
While hydrogen fuel cell technology holds immense promise for decarbonizing transportation, there are challenges to address. Building a reliable hydrogen infrastructure, ensuring cost-effectiveness, and producing green hydrogen at scale are critical aspects to consider. Collaborative efforts like the one between Ford Trucks and Ballard Power Systems are essential in overcoming these challenges and driving the widespread adoption of sustainable transportation solutions.
Ford Trucks and Ballard Power Systems’ partnership to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered truck prototype marks a significant milestone in the journey towards sustainable heavy transport. As the world moves towards decarbonization and cleaner energy alternatives, the joint efforts of these two industry leaders serve as an inspiring example for other players in the automotive and fuel cell sectors to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles.