The partnership between Ballard Power Systems, a global leader in fuel cell technology, and Quantron AG, a specialist in sustainable passenger and freight transportation, is entering its next phase. Since the announcement of the strategic cooperation in September 2021, the two companies have launched industry-leading developments. Together, the companies have delivered their first fuel cell electric vehicles, combining QUANTRON’s vehicle engineering expertise with Ballard’s state-of-the-art fuel cell technology.
The core of the Canadian-German partnership is the integration of Ballard’s high-performance FCmove™ fuel cell modules in QUANTRON vehicles. These include the 44-ton QUANTRON QHM FCEV heavy-duty truck – the current European range Champion with 54 KG H2 at 700 bar – and the QUANTRON QLI FCEV light truck. Both zero-emission vehicles feature significantly longer range and short refueling time compared to battery electric models. A notable feature of QUANTRON’s intelligent design is the complete integration of all fuel cell components into the frame structure of the QUANTRON QHM FCEV and the QLI FCEV, which means that no compromises have to be made in terms of trailer length and payload as well as allowing standard bodybuilder build-up structures as in their Diesel counterparts.
The QUANTRON QHM FCEV was presented for the first time at the IAA Transportation 2022 trade fair and met with an enthusiastic response. Media such as the German Newspaper Der Tagesspiegel spoke of “David is faster than Goliath” in comparison to established vehicle manufacturers, illustrating how significant achievements can be made through strategic partnerships of expert companies in their respective field.
Tim Sautter, Team Lead Q-Light & Corporate PM: “We are extremely proud to have achieved this important milestone together with Ballard. The collaboration between the engineering teams in Augsburg (Bavaria) and Vancouver (Canada) has been exceptional. We shortened the overall process from feasibility study to delivery to 18 months, bringing the QUANTRON QLI FCEV on the road and in customers hands in record time. This led to a superior product, where the fuel cell system is optimized for the individual vehicle based on customer use-cases.”
Randy MacEwen, CEO, Ballard Power Systems: “We’re excited to see the partnership with QUANTRON expand into the light-duty vehicle segment and increase fuel cell deployment into the critical last-mile transport market. Combining QUANTRON and Ballard’s respective technical strengths and market expertise, our teams are committed to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen mobility in the freight sector by bringing high-performing fuel cell engines to market.”
Hydrogen as source of clean energy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in the commercial vehicle sector. For this reason, Ballard became one of the founding members of the Clean Transportation Alliance, launched by QUANTRON, aiming to establish zero emission transport solutions with a special focus on the hydrogen value chain. The Clean Transportation Alliance features tech companies from the production, transport and dispensing of green hydrogen. Ballard will continue to play an important role in the alliance, driving the adoption of fuel cell systems in next generation transport solutions forward.
An European customer already took delivery of the first five units with one unit having accomplished 15.000 km in daily operations in a trial with the customer.
Michael Perschke, CEO of Quantron AG: “We take immense pride in our accomplishment, having jointly developed market-ready FCEV vehicles. Both Ballard and QUANTRON mastered this in record time. This is not only first to market in the 7.5 t FCEV light vehicle segment, but we take the lead in the fuel cell technology market. We have an order and offer pipeline of up to 100 units.”