Inside Logistics

CP chooses battery supplier for hydrogen locomotives

Swiss battery maker Leclanché SA will provide proprietary battery technology to Canadian Pacific for its Hydrogen Locomotive Program.


May 12, 2021
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Swiss battery maker Leclanché SA will provide proprietary battery technology to Canadian Pacific for its Hydrogen Locomotive Program.

CP is converting a diesel locomotive to hydrogen power.

The CP hydrogen-powered locomotive pioneering project, first announced in December 2020, will retrofit a line-haul diesel freight locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and Leclanché’s European manufactured lithium-ion batteries to power the locomotive’s electric traction motors. Leclanché will also provide its proprietary energy management software for optimum integration.

The project is designed to evaluate the combined technologies’ readiness for the freight rail sector. Once the locomotive is operational, CP will conduct rail service trials and qualification testing.

CP operates a 21,000-km (13,000-mile) rail network across Canada and the U.S. that serves deep-water ports on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The market for freight rail is large and growing across the world. In 2018, year-over-year, Canada’s freight rail sector’s workload, measured by gross ton-miles, increased by 6.2 pecent, and increased 10.1 percent compared with the five-year average. The distance travelled by Canada’s freight trains, measured by freight train-miles, increased by 5.4 percent to 68.6 million in 2018 versus 2017.

“Our battery systems and energy management software solution significantly increase the total energy efficiency compared to standalone fuel cell modules, reducing the total cost of ownership,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché.

“In addition to North America, we are currently looking at the freight train market in Europe, Australia, Brazil and South Africa – all of which are ideally suited for the transformation of their current diesel stock.”

Leclanché’s eTransport Solutions business serves the needs of the medium and heavy transportation industry through the supply of a broad range of solutions based on technologies from lithium cells, battery modules, battery management system and battery packs to energy management software. Leclanché has delivered and commissioned more than 430 high-capacity marine racks and commercial vehicle battery packs to customers since the start of commercial operations in 2019. These customers include global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the passenger rail, maritime, bus, truck and specialized vehicles sectors.

With 100 years of history, Leclanché is the only listed pure-play energy storage company in the world, organized in three business units: stationary storage solutions, e-Transport solutions and specialty batteries systems. Leclanché is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange.