Canadian Pacific has selected Switzerland-based Leclanché SA to supply lithium-ion batteries and energy management software for its HCF (hydrogen fuel cell) road locomotive pilot program. Leclanché’s proprietary technology will be be integrated with the locomotive’s fuel cell modules.
CP’s HFC project, announced in December 2020, will retrofit a line-haul diesel-electric locomotive with Ballard Power Systems hydrogen fuel cells and Leclanché’s European-manufactured lithium-ion batteries, which will power the locomotive’s electric motors. Leclanché will also provide its proprietary energy management software “for optimum integration,” the company said. “The project is designed to evaluate the combined technologies’ readiness for the freight rail sector. Once the locomotive is operational, CP will conduct rail service trials and qualification testing.”
“The market for freight rail is large and growing across the world,” Leclanché noted. “In 2018, year-over-year, Canada’s freight rail sector’s workload, measured by gross ton-miles, increased by 6.2%, and increased 10.1% compared with the five-year average. The distance travelled by Canada’s freight trains, measured in train-miles, increased by 5.4% to 68.6 million in 2018 vs. 2017.”
“Leclanche is pleased to have been chosen by Canadian Pacific for inclusion in its hydrogen locomotive, zero-emission freight train program,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO, Leclanché. “This project further expands our addressable market to include electrification of the freight rail sector representing a major global opportunity for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Our battery systems and energy management software solution significantly increase the total energy efficiency compared to standalone fuel cell modules, reducing the total cost of ownership. In addition to North America, we are currently looking at the freight rail market in Europe, Australia, Brazil and South Africa – all of which are ideally suited for the transformation of their current diesel fleets.”
Leclanché’s eTransport Solutions business “serves the needs of the medium and heavy transportation industry through the supply of a broad range of solutions based on 100% in-house technologies, from lithium cells, battery modules, battery management system and battery packs to energy management software,” the company said. “Leclanché has delivered and commissioned more than 430 high-capacity marine racks and commercial vehicle battery packs to customers since the start of commercial operations in 2019. These customers include global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the passenger rail, maritime, bus, truck and specialized vehicle sectors.”