Hydrogen Economy Review: Hyzon Motors advances with its truck business
Hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology, as usual, has been making inroads in the transport sector.
In North America, Hyzon Motors partnered with TotalEnergies to develop hydrogen refuelling and vehicle supply solutions for long-haul transport. Under the partnership, both companies aim to produce around 80 hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks by 2023 for TotalEnergies customers. In addition to being a member of the Hyzon Zero Carbon Alliance, TotalEnergies also invested in Hyzon Motors previously to expand manufacturing and engineering centres in the US, Europe and China.
Hyzon Motors agreed with Australia’s Coregas Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, under which Hyzon Motors will supply two fuel cell trucks to replace the existing diesel-based fleet of Coregas and reduce the emissions by around 50%. Coregas is also working on a hydrogen refuelling station at its Port Kembla facility, which will be used for the Hyzon trucks and can be used by other operators. Hyzon trucks are expected to be delivered by 2022. The government of New South Wales is also showing interest in developing hydrogen infrastructure in the region by facilitating $70 million in funds to establish hydrogen hubs in the state.
Hyzon Motors has delivered the first 55-ton milk truck to Transport Groep Noord, which transport milk for the Netherlands based company Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. The first truck would set the direction for the company to move towards hydrogen-based vehicles, as the company aims to convert all its 25 trucks that Groep Noord operates for FrieslandCampina. The truck has already made its first delivery. Groep Noord will initially use the truck on a specific route in the North of the Netherlands. The truck is a 55-ton HyMax 450 Puller, built on Class-8 DAF truck chassis, and it has the power of 550 kW with a 520 km range.
Furthermore, Hyzon Motors announced a partnership with Ark Energy Corporation, an Australian based subsidiary of Korea Zinc Ltd. Under the partnership, Hyzon Motors will supply five fuel cell trucks to Ark Energy. These trucks will replace diesel trucks and are expected to reduce emissions by around 1,400 tonnes/year. It is the second supply agreement of Hyzon Motors within weeks for the supply of 154-ton fuel cell trucks. As part of the partnership, Ark Energy also joined Hyzon Zero Carbon Alliance as a founding member.
In Europe, Mercedes-Benz has to make its site in Wörth, Germany, as the centre for Mercedes-Benz emission-free trucks production. The plant will witness the further production of emissions-free trucks of Mercedes-Benz. The production of Mercedes-Benz eActros will start in October this year in the plant, and more trucks such as fuel cell trucks will also start production in the plant soon, which will be handed over to customers in 2027. Furthermore, Daimler Truck will also invest in the development of other plants in the coming years.
In Ireland, National Transport Authority (NTA) presented the three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses in partnership with Bus Éireann. The buses are initially assigned to be used as a pilot for public transport on route 105X of Bus Éireann, in Greater Dublin Area. The route runs between Dublin and Ratoath, County Meath. BOC Gases Ireland will supply hydrogen to the busses through its Bluebell facility on Naas Road in Dublin. The busses’ maintenance will be initially taken care of by Municipal and Utilities Truck Equipment Company (MUTEC) through its facility on the Longmile Road in Dublin. The project has a total investment of around € 2.4 million and will use the Wrightbus Streetdeck Hydroliner model.
The Portugal based producer of busses, CaetanoBus, announced co-branding of its fuel cell busses with Toyota Caetano Portugal (TCAP). The busses that both companies will be co-branding include H2.City Gold fuel cell electric bus and e.City Gold battery-electric city bus. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is facilitating CaetanoBus with fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks and other key components since 2019, and in 2020 TCAP became the key shareholder of CaetanoBus. The basic purpose of co-branding is to use both companies logos on the buses, increasing recognition of the busses and market growth.
In Switzerland, Migros Neuchâtel-Friborg announced its complete transition to zero-emission by introducing hydrogen trucks to transport its goods. It is considered as first in the region to transport goods through hydrogen trucks. The plan for the supply of hydrogen is to install a hydrogen refuelling station at Marin-Epagnier, with the help of partners. In the long term, the company may produce green hydrogen in the Friborg region.
In Germany, Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport, Alstom and Südwestdeutsche Landesverkehrs-AG (SWEG) jointly started the trial operations of fuel cell train in Baden-Württemberg. Initially, the trial operations were planned for 1st May 2021, but it has been delayed due to the issues with the hydrogen supplier. Air Liquide is selected as the official supplier of hydrogen for the train.
Also, in Germany, Bavarian State Ministers for Economic Affairs and Transport announced its support for testing the hydrogen fuel cell train in Augsburg. The two-car train will be developed on the basis of the Mireo Plus H platform from Siemens Mobility. The train will have two fuel cells mounted on the top of its roof and will have a range of 800 km. The train will be operating on non-electrified rail lines. The train is set to be introduced to the public in 2022, with its first test run in 2023, and it is set to enter passenger service in January 2024.
In Spain, Air Nostrum and Universal Hydrogen signed an agreement under which both will use hydrogen in the Air Nostrum fleet of turboprops. The conversion will be conducted through the purchase of 11 turboprop conversion kits by Air Nostrum from Universal Hydrogen, which will also be used in the future fleet of airlines. The kits include a hydrogen fuel cell and an electric motor that replaces the aircraft’s existing turboprop engine. The responsibility for the supply of hydrogen to aircraft is also on Universal Hydrogen, for which both companies have made a long-term agreement.
In Sweden, the Swedish national collaboration program called H2JET has now been launched and is leading by GKN Aerospace. The other partners in the two-year project include the Swedish Energy Agency, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, University West, Research institutes of Sweden (RISE) and Oxeon. The project’s main purpose is to develop technical solutions for three key engine subsystems for hydrogen propulsion of medium-range civil aircraft. The net investment in the project is around € 2 million.
In the US, S&T, Department of Energy (DOE), Army Corps of Engineers, Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center, and Cummins Inc. joined forces and introduced a new project known as H2Rescue. It is an innovative truck project that is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It can be used in situations such as disasters, as it is equipped with required tools that can generate useable external power and help efficiently in getting required systems up and running in a time of chaos, and without any emissions. The design for the storage of hydrogen is still in the development phase, but the target is to drive a Class 7 heavy truck for about 90 miles for rescue and be there for around 72 hours, with the facilitation of power and heat to the place, and the drive back 90 miles for refuelling.
Cummins, a US-based company, has announced the testing of a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine. The testing of new technology is based on the company’s existing experience in gaseous-fuel applications and powertrain. The company also has plans to test the vehicle on- and off-highway applications. The hydrogen engine will facilitate the end-users and equipment manufacturers with ease of adaptability, as it mirrors the existing powertrains with few modifications.
In China, Air Products commissioned its first hydrogen fueling station project in Zhangjiakou in China’s Hebei Province. The fueling station will be used in the 2022 Winter Olympics, and it is one of the many fueling stations set to be launched before the Winter Olympics. The station will have the ability to produce 200 kg/day of hydrogen and have a pressure of 70MPa. The company will also supply green hydrogen to these stations to support the Green Winter Olympics and China’s sustainable development.
In South Korea, Hyundai Motor Company and Hyundai Global Service partnered to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems that will be used in marine vessels. Under the agreement, Hyundai Motor is responsible for the supply of fuel cell systems and will also provide technical support, and Hyundai Global Service is responsible for the manufacturing and commercialisation of fuel cell-based propulsion systems. The agreement also includes a third partner known as Korean Register, responsible for establishing standards for type approval. The project aims to produce small size vessel model by 2022 and produce propulsion systems for mid-to-large-sized vessels in the long run.