Bramble Energy and MAHLE Powertrain are to showcase new novel hydrogen fuel cell technology in a Renault Kangoo ZE demonstrator later this year.
The companies say the vehicle will showcase the reduced-cost high-performance potential of high-power density liquid-cooled fuel cells.
MAHLE Powertrain is helping to optimise the integration of Bramble Energy’s printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) within the Kangoo ZE.
The integration project leverages high volume printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing techniques to reduce cost and ease of production scalability.
Jonathan Hall, head of research and advanced engineering projects at MAHLE Powertrain, said: “Hydrogen is certainly a viable option for the light commercial vehicle sector.
“The commercial vehicle sector is currently exploring alternative fuel options as several large fleet operators pledge to meet net-zero CO2 emission.
“PCBFC technology provides a high-power density solution that is perfectly suited to typical commercial vehicle duty cycles.
“In addition, we hope accelerated development of fuel cell technologies will have the knock-on effect of inspiring increased deployment of supporting infrastructure for areas where it is currently lacking.”
Utilisation of PCB technology enables Bramble Energy to offer a bespoke fuel cell capability and enhanced production flexibility, plus a robustness inherent in the printed circuit board manufacturing process.
It also enables the company to strip-back fuel cell complexity and reduce weight, negating the need for separate sealing materials and lowering the number of components without negatively impacting build quality or performance.
Hydrogen is seen as having the potential to help decarbonise the UK’s transport, and the Government is backing this with major investment and development initiatives.
A number of fleets, such as Northern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities are also looking at fuel cell technology, while a hydrogen-powered ambulance is being due to hit the streets of London later this year as part of an ULEMCO-led, Government-backed project.