Hydrogen Offers Promising Future for Long-Haul Trucking Industry

April 9, 2021

Interest in hydrogen fuel cells as a sustainable source of clean energy is on the rise globally, and hydrogen fuel cells are widely seen as a viable, zero-emission option to power trucks, trains, ferries, and passenger vehicles.

The heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) market could prove to be ideal for fuel cell development and deployment. Hydrogen fuel cells are well-suited for this market because of their fast refueling time and long driving range. They also contain a higher amount of energy-per-unit mass than a lithium battery or diesel fuel. By increasing the size of the hydrogen tank, a truck can have a higher amount of energy available without significantly increasing the weight – an important consideration for long-haul trucks that have strict weight penalty policies.

Last year, the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) launched the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck Consortium (M2FCT) to leverage the potential opportunity fuel cells in the HDV market and to align with the [email protected] vision for clean and affordable hydrogen across multiple sectors in the economy. M2FCT will work on fuel cells for heavy-duty fuel cell trucks that can meet all of the efficiency, durability, and cost requirements of the trucking industry. With $50 million funded by DOE HFTO over five years, a team of five national labs co-led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have set out with a 2030 goal of demonstrating systems that have a 25,000-hour, or 1-million mile, lifetime for long-haul trucks.

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