Bramble Energy achieves milestone in hydrogen fuel cell production, advancing UK’s electrified automotive future

By SuperEditor May9,2024

Cleantech and Hydrogen fuel cell tech specialist completes £1.8 million SuRV project, accelerating the journey to a net zero future in transportation.   

London, UK. 9 MAY 2024: Cleantech and Hydrogen fuel cell technology specialist Bramble Energy has successfully completed a project aimed at accelerating the transition to an electrified automotive industry in the UK, funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)’s Scale-up Readiness Validation (SuRV) programme.

As part of the Automotive Transformation Fund – a programme created to support large-scale industrialisation – Bramble Energy was awarded £1.8 million in September 2022 to develop an optimised fuel cell stack assembly with the capacity to produce up to 2,000 50 kW stacks/year. This has been accomplished, in less than two years, at the firm’s state of the art HQ and Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Crawley.

The completion of the SuRV project has seen Bramble Energy simplify the fuel cell stack assembly process through the design of its already trademarked Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC™), which includes integrated membrane electrode assembly into unitised PCB modules (cells).

Furthermore, the process has seen the company prove its low cost production roadmap to $100/kW at 2,000 x 50 kW stacks/year (100 MW/year)*.

Bolstering Bramble Energy’s momentum in driving change in the transportation sector, the business also secured funding last year to provide first-of-its-kind fuel cell technology for a new hydrogen-powered double-deck bus. The project, part of the Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI), involves partners including Equipmake, Aeristech, and the University of Bath, and is supported by £6.3 million from the APC, matched by industry contributions to total £12.7 million.

 

Dr Tom Mason, CEO Bramble Energy, comments on the firm’s commitments towards a net zero future in transportation: “In our efforts to help both the automotive and public transport industry find a clean, reliable and cost-effective way of powering vehicles, both the SuRV and HEIDI projects have helped us deliver internal efficiency development, refine our build process and create more flexibility with our design. We already have unique production USPs with our fuel cell modules and the PCB industry, so the SuRV project was the perfect way to make advancements internally with delivering the fastest and most efficient build process.

“The UK Government’s aim to halt new petrol and diesel car sales by 2035 influences Bramble Energy’s plans. However, it’s just part of a larger vision. Our focus extends beyond this goal as we work towards creating real-world, commercially viable solutions for the wider transportation sector: a key milestone in this journey is HEIDI, our hydrogen-powered double-deck bus demonstrator.”

 

The significant reduction in the cost of automotive fuel cells – by 70% since 2008 – mirrors the strides made by pioneering technology companies such as Bramble Energy and the wider industry towards more efficient and scalable production processes. This evolution from capital-intensive and slow production cycles to more economical and faster production methods not only enhances the viability of fuel cell technology, but also positions the UK as a potential leader in this field. It’s a shift that promises to bolster the UK’s industrial landscape, while also contributing to a broader global shift towards sustainable energy solutions.

 

APC’s Automotive Transformation Director, Julian Hetherington added: “The successful completion of this APC Scale-up Readiness Validation (SuRV) project by Bramble Energy reinforces confidence in large-scale manufacturing investment to build electrified supply chains in the UK. Our aim is to support innovative businesses like Bramble Energy that have the expertise to accelerate change in the automotive sector as it transitions to a net zero future. By advancing fuel cell technology, it brings a viable net-zero transport solution which can scale quickly and be delivered at lower cost.”

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