Productivity Up, Emissions Down
The trucking sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases and urban air quality issues in many countries as almost all goods travel by truck from manufacturers to consumers.
While trucks represent only 10% of all vehicles on roads, they emit 40% of the carbon emissions, and this is projected to further increase due to the growth of e-commerce and other road freight activity to support increasing populations.
Fuel cell range-extended trucks offer significant advantages over pure-battery electric trucks, as weight is the enemy of mileage in this application. Trying to gain range by adding more battery reduces the amount of payload a truck can carry. And the ability to refuel quickly is of great importance to truck fleets that cannot accommodate downtime with their freight patterns.
A fuel cell range extended system is the ideal solution for heavy-duty vehicles as it extends the range of battery-electric systems using on-board hydrogen. In this hybrid format, the batteries help deliver peak power while during deceleration they recover energy through regenerative braking. The hybrid design improves operating performance and can fit into existing vehicle architectures without radical changes. Based on current operational data, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) could reach price parity or be lower than current diesel systems in the near future.
While building a hydrogen infrastructure to support millions of fuel cell powered cars may be slower to develop, with heavy-duty buses and trucks, the infrastructure challenge for trucking is not as formidable as most commercial vehicles operate on fixed routes and return to base at the end of a shift. And you can refuel in approximately 15 minutes compared to a comparable pure-battery system that would take several hours.