Bramble Energy and Mahle Powertrain have launched a new demonstrator van that includes printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) technology.
The Renault Kangoo ZE, which features a 5 kW Bramble Energy fuel cell integrated into the powertrain acting as a range extender, was launched at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show.
According to Bramble Energy its PCBFC technology significantly reduces the manufacturing cost of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.
While conventional fuel cell stacks rely on stamped plates to hold the various layers, Bramble Energy says its approach leverages PCB manufacturing technology, which can be produced cheaply, in virtually any shape using flexible production techniques.
Future development by Bramble and Mahle will focus on creating a derivative with a higher power output and increased overall efficiency.
Dr Tom Mason, Bramble Energy CEO and CTO said: “Mahle Powertrain’s skills and expertise have enabled us to showcase the benefits of our PCBFC technology in a practical way.
“The technical partnership between our two companies will help us accelerate our development and move towards small scale production.”
Dr Mike Bassett, Mahle Powertrain’s head of research & advanced engineering added: “Hydrogen fuel cells offer an alternative to the heavy batteries and long recharge times that other electric vehicle technologies suffer from, and that makes them particularly relevant to the commercial vehicle sector as it looks to meet net zero CO2 emissions targets.
“The work with Bramble Energy has demonstrated that their innovative PCBFC technology represents a cost-effective route to the adoption of fuel cell propulsion for commercial vehicles.”