Bramble Energy is lead partner of the Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) which has received £6.3m funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund. The £6.3m awarded by the government will be matched by industry to a total of £12.7m.
The UK-based consortium will develop the hydrogen-powered double-deck bus, with Bramble’s PCBFC tech alongside Aeristech’s high efficiency air compressor, and Equipmake’s motor power electronics and battery management system. The powertrain will be optimised through vehicle simulations carried out by Bath University.
Bramble Energy has been selected for the project due to its fuel cell design and manufacturing process. Using a patented-protected printed circuit board technology, it can create bespoke fuel cell stacks in a ‘matter of days at scale and low-cost’.
According to Bramble, its PCB technology eliminates the requirement for several complex and costly components found in a typical electrochemical stack, which simplifies the supply chain and does not require vast retooling for manufacture. The fuel cell stacks can be produced in almost any size and arrangement according to the end customer’s needs.
The resulting solution aims to support and accelerate the decarbonisation of public transport and to improve air quality in towns and cities around the world.
Dr Vidal Bharath, CCO at Bramble Energy commented: “Fuel cell technology can deliver a viable net zero solution that lends itself to commercial vehicles where downtime needs to be limited. This consortium of partners means that we will be able to deliver a world-leading hybridised powertrain, utilising our innovative low cost PCBFC technology for the bus sector, where there needs to be a viable electrified solution that can deliver on cost and scalability.”
In support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK, the project is expected to support nearly 500 jobs over the next decade and save nearly six million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.
The UK based consortium in the HEIDI project will support fuel cell manufacturing in the UK for buses and commercial vehicles. They believe that using a novel, low-cost method to manufacture fuel cells will accelerate the cost reduction of fuel cells and their use across society.