Ford is developing a heavy fuel cell truck prototype as part of an EU project.
This was revealed by the Canadian fuel cell specialist Ballard Power Systems, which will supply the technology for this before the end of the year.
The 44-tonne Ford F-MAX of the Turkish joint venture Ford Otosan is to be converted into a fuel cell truck with two Ballard modules of the type FCmove-XD with 120 kW power each, even if only as a single unit for the time being.
The fuel cell-powered F-MAX is to be built in Turkey and roll out on the road in 2025 for the first demonstrations as part of the EU project ZEFES (Zero Emission Freight EcoSystem).
“Our first Fuel Cell Electric-powered Vehicle F-MAX, which we will develop as part of the ZEFES project, will be a significant milestone,” said Emrah Duman, vice president of Ford Trucks.
“We are thrilled to be working with Ballard on this critical project. This long-term relationship will generate enormous value in the future. We have a wide range of promising technological talents and capabilities, and our work is progressing quickly and successfully.”
Under the terms of the MoU, Ballard may be appointed preferred supplier for series production of the fuel cell-powered F-MAX upon successful completion of the development programme and subject to certain other conditions (which are not further detailed in this case).
Incidentally, the FC modules that Ballard is supplying to Ford in the project will also be used in the Quantron QHM FCEV heavy truck.
“Ford Trucks is an important ‘platform’ win for Ballard and a key partner for our high growth potential truck vertical,” says Ballard CCO David Mucciacciaro. “We are excited by their ambition towards scaled deployments of F-MAX fuel cell trucks.
Our FCmove-XD is an outstanding match for the range, refueling, payload, and packaging requirements of long-haul tractor customers.”
The EU ZEFES project was launched earlier this year and is scheduled to run for 3.5 years. Under it, four truck OEMs (Ford Otosan, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo Trucks) are working together with suppliers, logistics operators and research partners to accelerate the development of long-range heavy-duty BEV and FCEV trucks.
In 2025, nine different vehicle concepts (including four fuel cell-powered and five battery-electric vehicles) are expected to cover more than 1 million kilometres on routes in the EU in real everyday use.