The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) has released a new foundational document for heavy-duty Class 8 fuel cell electric trucks (FCETs), “Fuel Cell Electric Trucks: A Vision for Freight Movement in California and Beyond,” that envisions 70,000 trucks supported by 200 heavy-duty hydrogen truck stations by 2035. The vision emphasizes the urgent need for policies that unlock and accelerate private investment to achieve this interim step towards a larger goal of 100% zero-emission trucks by 2045.
Heavy-duty trucks represent only 2% of vehicles on California roads, yet these trucks generate more than 9% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, 32% of its nitrogen oxides, and 3% of its particulate emissions, the CaFCP says.
“The successful rollout of heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks requires the interplay of several key elements. In the case of FCETs, that includes synchronizing vehicle rollout with hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and renewable and zero-carbon hydrogen production,” said Joe Cappello, CEO of Iwatani Corporation of America and vice-chair of CaFCP.
With the right policy mechanisms in place, the vision foresees a self-sustaining market by 2035. The draft of a California Air Resources Board report concludes that a self-sufficient light-duty fuel cell passenger car fueling network is possible, suggesting the same can happen for heavy-duty fuel cell trucks.
The release of the vision document comes on the heels of the California Air Resources Board’s Advanced Clean Truck rule, which requires truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024.