In the USA, Hyzon Motors and Chart Industries today announced an agreement to develop and produce a liquid hydrogen-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicle with a range of up to 1,000 miles. There are also advances in Europe and Australia.
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Among other news from Hyzon Motors today, the company announced a memorandum of understanding with TotalEnergies on hydrogen truck refuelling in Europe. But firstly to the planned hydrogen fuel cell truck with a thousand-mile (1,609-kilometre) range: Hyzon Motors says that the goal of the project is to transform long-haul commercial trucking and reduce hydrogen infrastructure costs. For this purpose, the truck maker has joined forces with Chart, a global manufacturer of engineered equipment servicing multiple applications in the energy and industrial gas markets. Hyzon says that the partnership combines its own manufacturing expertise with Chart’s “market-leading liquid hydrogen equipment” to develop the long-range zero-emission truck.
The duo plans to use liquid hydrogen instead of the usual gaseous hydrogen since the liquid storage is twice as dense as the current 700 bar gaseous storage. The H2 truckmaker says that this allows the truck to travel twice the distance while improving the truck’s payload capacity because of the lighter weight of the tanks.
“With the current technology, fuel cell electric vehicles provide solutions for back-to-base trucking models,” said Hyzon CEO Craig Knight. “The extended range would significantly accelerate the adoption of hydrogen FCEV over-the-road transport solutions given the reduced infrastructure needs and increased refuelling hub utilisation.”
Famously, one of the biggest challenges is integrating mobile tanks that store liquid hydrogen. Liquid hydrogen tanks require temperatures of –423 °F (- 217 Celcius), with a vehicle’s fuel cell that requires ambient temperature hydrogen gas. Hyzon says that Chart’s liquid hydrogen equipment expertise will help overcome this challenge.
As Hyzon’s order numbers will attest, hydrogen fuel cell trucks already provide a near-term commercialization opportunity. The company says that this next technological advance could also pave the way to hydrogen-based, zero-emissions aviation, marine, and train transport. Key transportation sectors will benefit from a liquid hydrogen supply chain.
“With our over 55 years making liquid hydrogen equipment, we are excited to see this application for our liquid onboard hydrogen tank,” explained Jill Evanko, Chart’s CEO and president. “Hyzon is a great partner for this, not only for their fuel cell capabilities but also for their customer base that is ready for this long-haul heavy-duty solution now – not in 5 years.”
However, the companies did not give a more exact outlook on the prospects of such a vehicle on the road, although the above statement would indicate that the partners want to move quickly.
In May this year, Hyzon’s European competitors Daimler Trucks began intensive testing of the advanced prototype of its fuel cell truck GenH2 Truck. The prototype is still making the rounds on a test track, but soon it will also apparently be on public roads. Daimler also wants to achieve ranges of 1,000 kilometres made possible not only by the fuel cell but also by liquid hydrogen cooled to -253 degrees Celsius. That being said, Daimler has generally been incredibly slow to commercialize its fuel cell technology for heavy-duty transport.
Hyzon Motors & TotalEnergies tackle European refuelling infrastructure for H2 trucks
Also today, Hyzon Motors announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the French energy giant TotalEnergies, formally called Total, to evaluate and develop hydrogen refuelling and vehicle supply solutions for long-haul transport to customers across Europe.
The MoU builds on an existing commercial relationship between the two companies. Last year, TotalEnergies made a direct investment in Hyzon to finance the buildout of Hyzon’s manufacturing and engineering centres in Europe, the United States, and China. The French energy company is also a member of the Hyzon Zero Carbon Alliance. TotalEnergies has also invested in other hydrogen initiatives. In May this year, the company joined HysetCo’s fuel cell joint venture in Paris.
An additional MoU between Hyzon and TotalEnergies was signed through its French affiliate TotalEnergies Marketing France that oversees its service-stations network and new mobilities solutions in France. The goal here is, by 2023, to secure the production of 80 hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks for TotalEnergies’ French customers.
More Hyzon trucks in the Netherlands
Other news today from the fast-moving fuel cell truck maker Hyzon Motors announced that it had delivered its first 55-ton milk truck to Transport Groep Noord, a carrier providing transport for multinational dairy company Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.
The truck delivered today is a 55-ton HyMax 450 Puller built on a Class-8 DAF truck chassis. The fuel cell truck is expected to have a range of up to 520 kilometres and motor power up to 550-kilowatt capacity. The truck is to operate on specific routes in the north of the Netherlands, where the first hydrogen-powered milk delivery took place last week in a Hyzon truck.
The company responsible for the procurement, Transport Groep Noord, operates 25 trucks for FrieslandCampina. With branches in 38 and brands in over 100 countries, FrieslandCampina is one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the world.
Earlier this month, a consortium called HyTrucks was formed by Hyzon Motors, Air Liquide and DATS 24 along with the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Duisburg. Hytrucks has pledged to deploy 1,000 H2 trucks and 25 H2 refuelling stations by 2025. Hyzon Motors has several other large projects in the Netherlands, such as in Utrecht.
Hyzon Motors to deliver five heavy-duty fuel cell trucks to Australia
Also made public today was that Hyzon Motors would be delivering five heavy-duty fuel cell trucks for a Queensland zinc refinery operation Sun Metals. The five 154-tonne hydrogen trucks are expected to provide 480kW of power. They will be used in road train configurations by the Korea Zinc subsidiary Ark Energy and Townsville Logistics.
For refuelling, Sun Metals and Ark Energy have already built their own hydrogen refilling station. This endeavour was supported by the Queensland government’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund. The aim is to build the Australian state’s first major renewable hydrogen supply chain.
“When we scoured the world for fuel cell trucks, we found that Hyzon Motors was the only hydrogen mobility company that could manufacture fuel cells stacks with a sufficient power density to meet our requirements, including the ultra-heavy payload and built to Australian Design Rules,” said Ark Energy CEO Daniel Kim. “In addition, Hyzon Motors was the only OEM that was interested in supplying the Australian market in the next 18 months,” he explained.
Update 15 September 2021
After the initial agreement outlined above, Hyzon Motors has received a definitive order from Ark Energy, a subsidiary of the world’s largest zinc, lead and silver producer, Korea Zinc. Ark now expects five 154-ton hydrogen trucks from Hyzon to arrive at its refinery in Queensland by the end of 2022.
Ark Energy will lease the trucks to its sister company, Townsville Logistics, which will deploy them in three-trailer configurations as part of their fleet operating on a 30-kilometre loop. The fuel cell trucks, replacing their diesel equivalents, are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 1,400 tons per year.
Hyzon expects to assemble the vehicles in Australia, aligning with the company’s plans to boost local Australian production of fuel cell vehicles. Ark Energy’s SunHQ hydrogen hub in Townsville delivers green hydrogen produced from an electrolyzer powered by a solar farm nearby.
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