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

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%, and increased 10.1% compared with the five-year average. The distance travelled by Canada’s freight trains, measured by freight train-miles, increased by 5.4% to 68.6 million in 2018 versus 2017.

“Leclanche is pleased to have been chosen by Canadian Pacific for inclusion in its hydrogen locomotive, zero emission freight train program,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO, Leclanché. “This project further expands our addressable market to include electrification of the freight rail sector representing a major global opportunity for the reduction of greenhouse gases.”

“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. 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,” said Srivastava.

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 100% inhouse technologies from lithium cells, battery modules, battery management system and battery packs to energy management software. Leclanché has delivered/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.