Sixty Ballard hydrogen fuel cells for ultra-class mining trucks

By Becky Schultz02 June 2023

Ballard Power Systems, which supplies zero-emission PEM fuel cells for mobility applications, has announced a purchase order to supply 60 hydrogen fuel cell modules, totaling 6 MW, to global carbon reduction company First Mode. Scheduled for delivery in 2024, the new order represents an expansion of the relationship between the two companies, which includes the order of 35 modules year to date in 2023 to power hybrid hydrogen and battery ultra-class mining haul trucks.

Ballard fuel cell for mining trucks Sixty hydrogen fuel cell modules totaling 6 MW will be integrated into powerplants for ultra-class haul trucks. (Photo: Ballard Power Systems)

First Mode is working to scale production for the next generation of the nuGen zero-emission haulage solution, including fuel cell and battery powerplants and related infrastructure. It has begun integrating the fuel cell modules from the previously announced order into the clean energy powerplants built by First Mode in Seattle, Wash. The powerplants will be installed into ultra-class haul trucks and will begin operation at First Mode’s Proving Grounds in Centralia, Wash., starting in 2024. The company plans to bring an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles to the field with the latest order.

The fuel cell modules being integrated into First Mode’s nuGen solution are designed to meet the high payload, energy and duty cycle performance mining operators require, said Ballard.

“The combination of hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology has proven itself as a viable zero-emission alternative to diesel in mine haulage,” added Julian Soles, CEO at First Mode. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Ballard to help our customers achieve their emission targets without sacrificing performance.”

David Mucciacciaro, Ballard’s chief commercial officer, cited mining haul trucks as one of the most difficult use cases to decarbonize among the verticals the company covers, “and therefore one of the most attractive segments for our fuel cell products.”

“We look forward to further demonstrating the value-proposition of our products in heavy-duty applications as additional First Mode vehicles enter service,” he said.

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