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Linamar Partners with Roush and Ballard to Develop Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Delivery Vans

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Delivery Vans

Linamar has entered the evaluation phase for the first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Delivery Vans in their technology contract with the CTE.

Linamar has entered the evaluation phase for the first fuel cell hybrid electric delivery vans in their technology contract with the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE). CTE is managing the Next Generation Fuel Cell Delivery Van Deployment Project for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), awarded to accelerate the adoption of clean freight transportation technologies.  Linamar has partnered with Roush CleanTech and Ballard Power Systems to provide complete turn-key FCEV package delivery vans to UPS for an in-revenue service demonstration in California.

The CARB Project includes developing, validating and deploying four fuel cell hybrid electric delivery vans. This is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“The strength of CTE’s project lies in its team member experience with advanced vehicle manufacturing, utilization of proven, off-the-shelf components, participation of UPS as the fleet operator and deployment partner, and the propulsion system’s commercialization potential,” said Dan Raudebaugh, executive director of CTE, a non-profit, Atlanta-based organization that develops, promotes and implements advanced transportation technologies.

Over the past decade, Linamar has made a substantial investment in automotive and commercial vehicle eAxle design, development and testing at its Livonia, Michigan, McLaren Engineering operations, as well as its McLaren Engineering centers in Germany and China. This has resulted in a market leader position in integrated eAxle systems.

“Linamar is excited by the market opportunities in supplying electrified vehicles and has significantly increased its portfolio of products specific for an electric mobility future including full eAxle systems to power next generation vehicle propulsion systems,” said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz.

This second generation eAxle for Class 4-6 commercial vehicles is a key result of this investment, building upon the success of their earlier DOE program for a Class 6 HEV delivery vehicle. The new Gen 2.0 eAxle utilizes a robust beam axle design with low NVH helical gears, levering Linamar’s world leading gear manufacturing expertise, and an integrated electric park lock. Its single-speed, single-motor design delivers 200kW and 11,400Nm to the rear axle for excellent startability and gradeability under rigorous real-world delivery conditions. 

Roush CleanTech is a leader in advanced clean transportation solutions. Roush is supplying the overall vehicle and system design, integration, build and commissioning for the fuel cell electric vehicles. FCEVs are electric vehicles that use a fuel cell to power its onboard electric motor, generating electricity from the air and compressed hydrogen.

“Roush’s expertise in clean mobility solutions is supported by decades of engineering, vehicle controls and integration experience with many of the major OEMs. Combine that with the fact that we have deployed more than 37,000 Ford medium-duty trucks and Blue Bird school buses featuring advanced technologies, such as propane autogas, and it provides fleets a comfort level in transitioning away from traditional fuels like diesel,” said Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech. “Our customers have accumulated well over 1 billion road miles, so we understand how to engineer, sell, service and support our customers through the complete asset lifecycle.”

Other partners to CTE and Linamar include Ballard Power Systems, which supplies the fuel cell power technology, designed to integrate with the eAxle and battery systems in the Ford F-59 chassis to create the hydrogen-powered FCEV with 150 mile range based on targeted driving cycles.

Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO noted, “Ballard’s industry-leading experience in the manufacture of fuel cell systems for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Motive applications includes powering Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles for more than 75 million kilometers to date. Our high-performance fuel cell systems are designed to meet the demanding needs of commercial vehicles, including superior durability requirements for delivery vans. We are proud to be working with Linamar, Roush and CTE on this ground-breaking project for CARB.”   

The four fuel cell hybrid electric delivery vans will be delivered by April of 2021. 

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