Exploring the Potential of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in North American Trucking

May 20, 2022 9:20 AM ET
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Cummins Inc., a global power and hydrogen technologies leader, and Daimler Truck North America, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America, are collaborating to upfit and validate Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a Cummins hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America.

Freightliner will leverage Cummins’ fourth generation fuel cell powertrain, which provides improved power density, efficiency and durability.

The joint effort will support both organizations’ goals to reduce emissions across product offerings and operations. Upon successful validation, the companies intend to have initial units available in 2024 for selected customers.

“Cummins and Daimler Truck have a strong history of partnership, and this next step into fuel cell electric vehicles is an exciting development for zero-emissions transport,” said Amy Davis, Vice President and President of New Power at Cummins. “Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising solution for the demanding requirements of heavy-duty trucking. Our collaboration in this market is an important milestone for both companies as we work to accelerate the shift to a carbon-free economy.”

“CO2-neutral commercial transportation must not only be technically feasible, but also economically viable for our valued customers,” said Rakesh Aneja, Vice President and Chief of eMobility at Daimler Truck North America. “Depending on the customer application and energy infrastructure considerations, hydrogen-powered vehicles can absolutely complement battery-powered electric vehicles in accelerating our carbon-neutral journey.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Cummins to include hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles in our future portfolio,” Aneja added. “We remain focused on serving our customers by providing them with a choice of propulsion-technologies, ultimately resulting in solutions that best suit their business needs.”

Cummins has deployed more than 2,000 fuel cells to date, using the technology to help achieve a number of industry firsts such as powering the first hydrogen-powered passenger train in Europe. The company is bringing low- and no-carbon technologies to market for those customers ready to invest in them while reducing the carbon produced by its core products to allow others to begin their carbon reduction journeys.

Hydrogen is an especially promising fuel when produced fully or in part using renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.

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