Ballard to Power First Hydrogen Trains in India

Ballard Power Systems’ fuel cells will power India’s first hydrogen trains thanks to a fuel cell module order from Medha Servo Drives.

Medha Servo Drives is a rail system integrator contracted by Indian Railways to develop hydrogen-powered trains as a first step towards the operator achieving its net zero ambitions.

Two retrofitted diesel-electric commuter trains will integrate eight units of 100 kW FCmove -HD+, Ballard’s latest fuel cell technology. These fuel cells offer improved efficiency and power density compared to the company’s previous generations.

India Hydrogen TrainThe FCmove™-HD+ is more than 40% more compact and over 30% lighter than Ballard’s previous 100kW module

The fuel cell modules are expected to be shipped next year, with trains scheduled to go into service in 2024.

Indian Railways says that this investment will not only reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 11 metric tonnes, but will also have a payback of less than two years thanks to the cost of hydrogen currently being less than diesel.

David Mucciacciaro, Chief Commercial Officer at Ballard, said:

“Our progress in decarbonising the rail market is just beginning, as we work with leading rolling stock manufacturers, integrators and operators globally.

“This announcement with Medha exemplifies the growing need and progress being made to decarbonise global mobility.

“We’re excited to grow our fuel cell business in India, and to power the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission passenger trains in the Indian market.”

Additional retrofits could potentially follow this initial deployment.