US Hybrid Inc., a California based company, has announced its joint venture with Jiangsu Dewei Advanced Materials Co. Ltd (Dewei), a Chinese company, and unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell engine during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. The truck, which will be operated by Total Transportation Solutions Inc (TTSI), is one of two demonstration tractors scheduled for delivery at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
"TTSI is excited to lead the demonstration of zero-emission fuel cell technology for port drayage in the San Pedro Ports," said Vic LaRosa, TTSI CEO and President.
The fuel cell tractor, a Navistar International ProStar day cab, features US Hybrid's FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell engine, and a 500 hp traction motor with 2,900 ft.-lbs. of direct drive torque (3,750 Nm). It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 lbs., an estimated driving range of 200 miles under normal drayage operation, and can be fully refueled in less than 9 minutes.
"Demonstrating the viability of zero-emission trucks for goods movement is a vital step toward Southern California meeting its federally mandated standards for healthy air," said Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
"US Hybrid deserves our thanks and appreciation for its cutting-edge clean technology leadership. These new fuel cell trucks will help protect the health of disproportionately impacted communities near our ports, rail yards, warehouses, and freight transportation corridors," said Dr. Joseph Lyou, President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, a California public interest organization dedicated to protecting public health, improving air quality, and preventing climate change.
US Hybrid is well positioned to be a major U.S. manufacturer of fuel cell engines for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial transportation sector. The company announced its plans to expand its Connecticut production facility via a joint venture with Dewei. The joint venture, US FuelCell Inc. (USFC), will focus on the production of US Hybrid's PEM fuel cell engines, including the FCe80, an 80 kW fuel cell engine for heavy-duty trucks and transit buses, and the FCe40, an 40 kW fuel cell engine for Class 6 and 7 trucks and medium-duty transit buses.
The compact and high efficiency FCe80 and FCe40 units have been designed to be integrated, controlled, and serviced just like a conventional engine with J1939 diagnostics and easy access to critical components to minimize service time. The FC engines are utilizing US Hybrid's unique advanced freeze capable technology, which enables start at temperatures as low as -30 C without a cold climate option package.
USFC anticipates production and delivery of more than 1,200 PEM fuel cell engines in the next 36 months. The expansion of production facilities in the U.S. and China will enable the company to build and deliver 2,000 fuel cell engines per year in the U.S. and an additional 2,000 engines in China. The higher-volume fuel cell engine production capability will enable fleets to realize a comparable return on investment as other clean fuel engines.
"Dewei is committed to the successful development of fuel cell technology for commercial buses and trucks, as evidenced by our $42.8 million (RMB 300 million) investment in Chinese fuel cell production and establishment of a $428 million (RMB 3000 million) industrial fund," said Zhou Jianming, Dewei Chairman. "This new partnership with US Hybrid will enable US FuelCell to meet market demand cost-competitively in China, North America, and Europe."
"Our joint venture with Dewei will dramatically increase the availability of PEM fuel cell engines for commercial vehicles globally," stated US Hybrid President and CEO, Dr. Abas Goodarzi, Ph.D, P.E., a 35-year veteran of the electric, hybrid, and fuel cell industries. "Given that heavy-duty engines are the leading source of smog-forming emissions in many metropolitan areas throughout the world, we are thrilled to provide an economically viable zero-tailpipe-emission solution to help cities achieve their air quality improvement and climate change mitigation goals."