Economic benefits of Hydrail

When German authorities first decided to procure fuel cell-electric trains, a global scan of suppliers was conducted. After considering all the options, Hydrogenics was selected to build the core power units for these wirelessly electrified trains, using our commercially available, off-the-shelf fuel cell products. Hydrogenics entered into a €50 million exclusive supplier agreement with Paris-based train manufacturer ALSTOM for 200 fuel cell engines, which are currently being built at Hydrogenics’ plant in Mississauga. This is a practical example of how the province of Ontario can grow exports and middle-class jobs by being a leader in the global transition to a clean, low-carbon economy.

Hydrogenics’ Ontario-built fuel cells are also leading in clean export technology to electrify and decarbonize other modes of public transportation in the U.S. and Asia:

  • In April 2017, we announced our CelerityPlusTM fuel cells will power five all-electric buses for SunLine Transit in California
  • In May 2017, UPS (United Postal Service) showcased a all new electric delivery van powered by our fuel cells
  • In June 2017, we signed a US$50 million purchase and licensing agreement  with Chinese bus maker Blue-G New Energy Science and Technology Corporation for 1000 fuel cell units

As demand for Hydrail grows, Ontario can capitalize on its current leadership position for sustained growth into the future. To illustrate the scale of this opportunity, the global rail supply market earned $155 billion in 2013, growing at 3.8 per cent annually.[1] In 2014 alone, procurement of new rolling stock in the North American market exceeded $4 billion. This sector is big and growing!

When fully developed, the market for hydrail technologies in the North American commuter and light rail sectors could represent hundreds of millions of dollars in manufacturing exports, sustaining hundreds of skilled, well-paying jobs in Ontario. These new jobs would occur not only in fuel cell manufacturing, but also across the entire hydrogen technology supply chain, which includes advanced materials (metals and polymers) and components, as well as energy infrastructure construction, operation and field maintenance. Leveraging Ontario’s current strengths in automotive assembly, it may be possible to attract fuel cell-electric train production to Ontario, too.[2]

Further reading

  1. Frost & Sullivan, Rail Market Outlook 2013-2022
  2. Alstom’s Citadis Spirit begins train dynamic testing in Ottawa