Ford F-550 hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty trucks have a supply strategy

Ford F-550 hydrogen fuel cell heavy duty trucks have a supply strategy

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September 20, 2022 0 By Alicia Moore

SoCalGas and The Blue Oval are teaming up on the DoE SuperTruck 3 program and it now has a supplier.

Last Month, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and The Blue Oval announced that they were developing a Ford F-550 prototype for a Super Duty hydrogen fuel cell truck. The project was a component of the US Department of Energy (DoE) SuperTruck 3 program for considerably reducing medium- and heavy-duty vehicle emissions.

That said, the initial details about the program were somewhat slim, including about the suppliers.

At that time, the announcement didn’t share any information about the plans for the H2 supply that would power the hydrogen fuel cell trucks. Now, those details are starting to be released, beginning with an announcement that Plastic Omnium will be a supplier.

Plastic Omnium will be responsible for the development of the 700-bar type-IV Hydrogen High Pressure Vessels and will provide them to the automaker for its H2-powered Ford F-550 Super Duty demonstrator Fleet. That company will also be generating real-life data for the zero-emission trucks made for the medium-duty sector by late next year.

Hydrogen fuel cell - Ford Truck zero emission

The vehicles will undergo a range of different testing configurations, including trucks equipped with “cherry picker” lift buckets for working on telecom and power lines. Plastic Omnium will be managing the vehicle development in the United States and will manufacture the Hydrogen Vessels at its new Adrian, Michigan factory production line.

The hydrogen fuel cell trucks are meant to reduce emissions with all the range and fast refueling needed.

Though battery electric cars are popular in the passenger vehicle sector, that technology hasn’t yet reached a point that it would provide the necessary payload capacity and 24/7 uptime often necessary for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. On the other hand, a 700-bar H2 storage system provides the range and rapid refueling capability that allows for zero-emission operations while still keeping up the usability features of a conventional internal combustion engine-powered vehicle.

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s SuperTruck 3 funding aims to expand the development of electric vehicle infrastructure and is a major boost for the hydrogen and zero-emission mobility markets,” said Plastic Omnium New Energies President and CEO for the Americas, John Dunn in a statement about the hydrogen fuel cell trucks project. “Plastic Omnium’s expertise in hydrogen, along with our strong relationship with Ford in North America, gives us a unique opportunity to support this project and grow with the market thanks to our new U.S. based manufacturing.”