Hyzon Motors Inc., global supplier of zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles, and Chart Industries Inc., independent global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment servicing multiple applications in the energy and industrial gas markets, are teaming up to revolutionize long-haul trucking – thanks to liquid hydrogen. Both companies plan to develop and produce a liquid, hydrogen-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicle with a range of up to 1,000 miles.
Using liquid in place of gaseous hydrogen in heavy transport brings numerous advantages. Because liquid hydrogen storage is twice as dense as the current 700 bar gaseous storage, a tank of liquid hydrogen fuels a vehicle for nearly twice the distance. Liquid hydrogen also improves a truck’s payload capacity because the storage tanks weigh less than 700 bar tanks.
One of the challenges is integrating mobile tanks that store liquid hydrogen, which require temperatures of –423 °F, with a vehicle’s fuel cell that requires ambient temperature hydrogen gas. The partnership creates a unique opportunity to address this challenge, by combining Chart’s market-leading liquid hydrogen equipment expertise with Hyzon’s experience manufacturing heavy-duty hydrogen vehicles.
The revolutionary extension of range will make the transition to a hydrogen-based transport industry attainable by solving challenges along the hydrogen value chain. Under the model to be developed, the number of heavy-duty refueling stations needed for these trucks becomes significantly less than the quantity needed for trucks using gas storage tank systems, as the driving range can readily match that of heavy-duty diesel trucks. In addition, the refueling infrastructure capital and operating costs are reduced with the elimination of the compression and refrigeration equipment needed for 700 bar vehicles.
Fewer stations would reduce the need to transport hydrogen to refilling locations, a time- and cost-intensive activity. Instead, large-scale low-cost green hydrogen production facilities could be built near the stations, relying on locally abundant resources such as solar, wind or hydropower. In the early hydrogen adoption phase, the 1,000-mile range could enable coast-to-coast routes with only four mega-hubs.
“With the current technology, fuel cell 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 refueling hub utilization.”
“With our over 55 years making liquid hydrogen equipment, we are excited to see this application for our liquid onboard hydrogen tank,” commented 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.”
While trucking provides a near-term commercialization opportunity, this new technological advance could also pave the way to hydrogen-based, zero-emissions aviation, marine, and train transport.