Bramble Energy, a company specialising in clean energy, has joined forces with Equipmake, Aeristech and the University of Bath to develop a hydrogen double-deck bus integrating Bramble’s low-cost printed circuit board fuel cell technology.
Bramble Energy is the lead partner of the Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) which has received £6.3m funding from the Advance Propulsion Centre as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund. The £6.3m awarded by the government will be matched by industry to a total of £12.7m, the company said in a press release.
The UK-based consortium will develop a hydrogen-powered double-deck 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, the company said.
Bramble Energy has been selected for this project due to its 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 at low cost.
Bramble’s PCB technology eliminates the requirement for a number of 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.
The fuel cell stacks can be produced in almost any size and arrangement according to the end customer’s needs. The result is an unparalleled cost-effective solution to supporting and accelerating the decarbonisation of public transport and improving air quality in towns and cities around the world.
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Dr Vidal Bharath, CCO at Bramble Energy said: “Fuel cell 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 hybridized 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.”
The UK-based consortium in the HEIDI project will support fuel cell manufacturing in the UK for buses and commercial vehicles and, using a novel, low-cost method to manufacture fuel cells will accelerate the cost reduction of fuel cells, their use across society and the reduction of CO2 emissions.