The UK-based fuel cell company, Bramble Energy, has joined forces with Equipmake, Aeristech and the University of Bath to develop a revolutionary new hydrogen double-deck bus integrating the revolutionary, low-cost printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) technology.
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Bramble Energy is the lead partner of the Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) which has received $7.92 million funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) as part of its Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) programme. The fund awarded by the government will be matched by industry to a total of $15.97 million.
The UK-based consortium will develop a hydrogen-powered bus using a first-of-its-kind fuel cell technology from Bramble Energy; Aeristech’s high efficiency air compressor, and Equipmake’s motor power electronics and battery management system. The powertrain will be optimised through vehicle simulations carried out by the University of Bath.
Bramble Energy has been selected for this project due to its revolutionised fuel cell design and manufacturing process. Using a patented-protected printed circuit board technology, it can create bespoke fuel cell stacks in a matter of days at scale and low-cost. Bramble’s PCB technology eliminates the requirement for several complex and costly components found in a typical electrochemical stack, which not only simplifies the supply chain but also does not require vast retooling for manufacture.
Advantages of fuel cell technology
The fuel cell technology will help with accelerating the decarbonisation of public transport and improve air quality in towns and cities around the world.
Dr Vidal Bharath, CCO at Bramble Energy said that this technology can deliver a viable net zero solution that lends itself to commercial vehicles where downtime needs to be limited.
“This consortium of partners means that we will be able to deliver a world-leading hybridised powertrain, utilising our innovative low-cost PCBFC technology for the bus sector, where there needs to be a viable electrified solution that can deliver on cost and scalability,” Bharat added.
In support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK, the project is expected to support nearly 500 jobs over the next decade and save nearly 6 million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.
The UK-based consortium in the HEIDI project will support fuel cell manufacturing.