MAHLE Powertrain is integrating Bramble Energy’s Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC) into a Renault Kangoo ZE as the first demonstrator vehicle of its type. The vehicle will be unveiled later in 2021 and the companies say it will showcase the potential of a new reduced-cost technology.
Printed Circuit Board technology prints conductive pathways on to a non-conductive substrate, as opposed to the creation of point-to-point wiring, which is both labour intensive and susceptible to aging. It simplifies complex manufacturing processes and reduces the componentry required, and will enable Bramble Energy to offer bespoke fuel cell capability and production flexibility – the PCB manufacturing process is cost-effective and straightforward when compared to traditional processes, reducing cost and easing manufacturing scalability.
MAHLE Powertrain head of research and advanced engineering projects, Jonathan Hall, said, “The commercial vehicle sector is currently exploring alternative fuel options as several large fleet operators pledge to meet net-zero CO2 emission targets. PCBFC technology provides a high-power density solution that is perfectly suited to typical commercial vehicle duty cycles. In addition, we hope accelerated development of fuel cell technologies will have the knock-on effect of inspiring increased deployment of supporting infrastructure for areas where it is currently lacking.”