Durable and cost-efficient

PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Trucks and Buses

Clean power for all applications

Clean mobility technologies are becoming common for passenger cars. However, until now few alternatives to diesel have been found for heavy duty truck and bus applications.

OEMs and operators of trucks and buses face many challenges, such as emissions legislation, driving range and fuel infrastructure. Additionally, durability, payload, fuel cost, total cost of ownership (TCO), packaging and cooling all influence the adoption of new technologies in the commercial sector.

For some applications and use cases, while battery electric powertrains do not offer the same performance or recharging times to make them a serious alternative to diesel. Fuel cells, however, are already showing promise across the industry. Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology, in particular, is an attractive option for trucks and bus applications.

Strategy Meets Technology

PEMFC technology has many traits that make it a possible alternative to diesel. While most of the cost lies in the stack itself, the appropriate application for each use case make this a serious competitor to conventional powertrains.

Drawing on decades of powertrain development and electrification experience – as well as broad fuel cell know-how – at AVL we can deliver customized technologies and services. These include:
Full development engineering services from lab prototype to pre-production samples of fuel cell systems and stacks

  • A model-based approach for quicker iteration cycles
  • Modular fuel cell systems and operating strategies with optimal durability and cost.
  • Degradation modelling with state of the art AVL proprietary code
  • Proprietary code available to customers
  • Real-time on-board diagnostics
  • Mechanical design and integration into defined packaging spaces
  • Cost engineering of every component broken down to explore cost drivers and cost reduction possibilities
  • Fuel cell system benchmarking (Nexo and Mirai already available)
  • Electric and Electronic (E/E) integration
  • And much more, including FMEA, Safety Concept, FuSa, Requirements Management, Risk and Hazard Analysis, Technology Consulting,

Furthermore, our own fuel-cell testing infrastructure helps our worldwide customers with their design and validation activities. AVL has an impressive fuel cell test infrastructure around the world, capable of testing systems with up to 400 kW of power.

Understanding Global Legislation

In addition to the intelligent, modular application of the right technological configuration for the use case, global legislation is also needed to make this technology mainstream. Our understanding of regulations around the world allow us to match the technology with the regulative framework.

Exemption of tolls for zero-emission vehicles , CO2 surcharges and low pollution and noise zones in cities effectively represent incentives for PEMFC commercial vehicle operators. Furthermore, refueling times that are comparable to diesel, similar TCO and high payload capability make this an increasingly attractive option for operators.

Our extensive experience with the technology, its application and the environment in which it operates, make it a realistic option for reduced/zero emission technology. In addition, with our experience and global network of experts, we are the ideal partner to help the industry implement it.

Why Partner with AVL?

Our approach to PEM fuel cell technologies for trucks and buses has a range of benefits. These include

  • Modular fuel cell systems, operating strategies and control software
  • Specialized simulation tools for fuel cell systems and their components
  • Test facilities available to customers for development and validation
  • Managing concept trade-offs between different hybridization strategies
  • Integration of fuel cell powertrains into the vehicles
  • Unique technology for on-board diagnostics systems