Ballard Power Systems and global carbon reduction company First Mode today announced a purchase order for Ballard to supply First Mode with 60 hydrogen fuel cell modules – totaling 6 megawatts – for delivery in 2024. The order represents an expansion of the relationship, following the order of 35 modules year-to-date in 2023, to power hybrid hydrogen and battery ultra-class mining haul trucks.
Julian Soles, CEO at First Mode, expressed that the combination of hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology has established itself as a viable zero-emission alternative to diesel in mine haulage. He expressed excitement about continuing the partnership with Ballard to assist customers in achieving their emission targets without compromising performance.
Ultra-class haul trucks possess substantial payload and energy requirements, necessitating high uptime metrics to maintain existing operational practices. Ballard's fuel cell modules, integrated into First Mode's nuGen™ solution, deliver the required duty cycle performance for mining operators.
David Mucciacciaro, Ballard's Chief Commercial Officer, expressed enthusiasm in supporting First Mode as they expand the deployment of their mining haul truck platform. He emphasized that mining-haul trucks pose one of the most challenging decarbonization use cases, making it an attractive segment for Ballard's fuel cell products. The company aims to further demonstrate the value proposition of their products in heavy-duty applications as additional First Mode vehicles enter service.
First Mode is actively scaling production for the next generation of the nuGen™ solution, encompassing fuel cell and battery powerplant systems, as well as related infrastructure. Integration of Ballard's fuel cells from previous orders has already begun, and the partnership will continue to bring a growing fleet of zero-emission vehicles to the field. The next series of engines will be demonstrated at First Mode's Proving Grounds in Centralia, Washington, USA, starting in 2024.