Today Ballard announced the signing of a non-binding MOU with Rigas Satiksme, a Latvian transit bus operator, and Škoda Electric (Škoda), a leading Czech Republic bus and tram manufacturer.
VANCOUVER, CANADA – Today Ballard announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rigas Satiksme, a Latvian transit bus operator, and Škoda Electric (Škoda), a leading Czech Republic bus and tram manufacturer, in relation to a hydrogen fuel cell-powered trolley bus development and deployment program called "Hy-Trolley", for the city of Riga, Latvia.
Rigas Satiksme provides public transportation services throughout Riga, the capital of Latvia, including operation of more than 250 trolley buses, 116 trams and 415 diesel buses. Growth in the city has made expansion of the catenary network that supports the trolley bus fleet impractical. As a result, some trolley buses operate with diesel generators for a portion of their route, adversely affecting air quality. Replacement of diesel generators with clean energy power modules supplied by Ballard will eliminate emissions from the trolley buses.
"We are concerned about air quality in Riga and are searching for ways to improve it," said Leons Bemhens, CEO of Rigas Satiksme. "We are confident that this proposal with Skoda and Ballard can be an important part of the solution."
Under the Hy-Trolley program, Škoda and Ballard will undertake a feasibility study and product evaluation, followed by potential replacement of up to 27 diesel generators on existing trolley buses with Ballard's next-generation FCvelocity®-HD7 fuel cell power module in the 2016 timeframe. The Ballard module features reduced parts count – including fewer moving parts – integrated air compressor and coolant pump along with reduced parasitic load.
Ladislav Sobotka, CTO and Board Member of Škoda said, "Škoda is very happy to be working with Ballard on this exciting opportunity to provide a zero-emission solution for an important customer."
Škoda is focused on manufacturing vehicles for public transportation and railways and has a long history of developing and manufacturing low-floor trams, trolley buses and hybrid vehicles for ecological public transport in European cities.
Larry Stapleton, Ballard Vice President of Global Sales added, "Ballard has extensive experience with heavy-duty fuel cell modules. We are excited to have this opportunity to work on the Hy-Trolley program with Rigas and Škoda for delivery of clean transportation in Riga using our leading-edge product solution."
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.
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