A test run of a hydrogen-powered electric truck has brought renewed hope that this environmentally friendly fuel source could be scaled up to solve a problem with polluting, long-haul vehicles.
Hyzon Motors announced in August it had successfully completed a demonstration commercial delivery using a liquid hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.
The journey began in Temple, Texas, and went on to make eight deliveries to Performance Food Group customers near Dallas, Texas.
Parker Meeks, Hyzon’s chief executive officer, said, “With increased range and no added weight in comparison to our gaseous hydrogen trucks, we believe this liquid hydrogen demo run has demonstrated potential viability for the future of liquid hydrogen in commercial trucking.”
According to Hyzon, liquid hydrogen instead of the gas hydrogen alternative allows the truck to carry more fuel on board because of increased energy density.
In partnership with Chart Industries, a tank system was developed that allows the truck to store liquid hydrogen at temperatures of minus-400 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid is then transferred to a fuel cell to generate electricity.
Meeks said the test run was so promising that Hyzon believes it could soon see its 200-kilowatt fuel cell system allow for journeys of between 650 and 800 miles.
Hyzon added that using liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen could bring savings of up to about $2.27 per pound, allowing fleet owners to save money while also reducing pollution while in operation.
According to Scientific American, heavy-duty trucks are the largest mobile source of nitrogen oxides, which go on to produce ozone and particulate matter when reacting with elements in the atmosphere.
Thus, the trucking industry significantly contributes to planet-heating pollution, while its negative impact on air quality can also not be ignored.
But the fuel-cell advancements from Hyzon show the potential of pollutionless trucking. Now it’s just a case of providing the appropriate infrastructure to support these vehicles and scaling up the technology.
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