Class 8 hydrogen fuel truck in development by Michelin, Symbio and Faurecia

Class 8 hydrogen fuel truck in development by Michelin, Symbio and Faurecia

May 5, 2022 1 By Julie Campbell

The California Energy Commission selected the collaboration for the state-supported project.

A collaboration between Symbio, Michelin and Faurecia, as well as GTI and other industry partners, has been selected by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for a hydrogen fuel truck development.

The project involves developing and demonstrating a regional-haul Class 8 vehicle.

The CEC’s project is called the “Symbio H2 Central Valley Express” and is supported with a $2 million in funding. It is meant for the development and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel truck with a performance that will match that of a 15-liter diesel truck, only using a zero carbon-emission solution. The vehicle will be used for regional-haul trucking operations and all the demands that go with them.

Moreover, beginning during next year’s second half, the vehicle will be required to operate for 12 consecutive months on a challenging 400-mile route that runs between the Northern San Joaquin Valley and the Inland Empire.

Hydrogen fuel truck - Road in California

The vehicle will be located within the territory in California owned by natural gas investors. It will operate using both an existing and future H2 infrastructure mainly provided by Shell, Trillium and Air Liquide.

The hydrogen fuel truck project is intended to support the state 2045 target to achieve carbon neutrality.

Group FORVIA company Faurecia intends to bring its H2 storage system expertise to provide a full H2 storage system complete with five 700-bar homologated hydrogen storage tanks.

Michelin will be providing low-rolling resistance tires to ensures the vehicles’ longevity, safety and environmental protection combined with a boost in load capacity. The technological advances in these tires have been adapted for heavy-duty transport. The company is providing overall support in the transition to cleaner and more efficient electric mobility solutions with a broader range.

Symbio’s role in the hydrogen fuel truck project will be the design, development and integration of a heavy-duty long-haul truck ready fuel cell powertrain that is powered by the fuel cell stack technology from Symbio. That tech is called the StackPack, paired with the H2 storage system from Faurecia and the low-resistance Michelin tires to result in a Freightliner Cascadia platform.

GTI will be leading the grant administration in this hydrogen fuel truck, while providing technical insight.

GTI is a research and training organization. While it provides technical insight and program management, it will also lead the grant administration and collect data.

Among the other partners in the project include the fleet operator that will be demonstrating the hydrogen fuel truck, Total Transportation Services (TTSI), Frontier Energy, which will be providing community outreach, and the demonstration analysis will be conducted by Ricardo Strategic Consulting. Funding support will be provided by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Utilization Technology Development (UTD).

Zero-emission truck technology will play a critical role in California’s decarbonization.

“We are thrilled with this award – a testimonial of Symbio’s recognized fuel-cell technology leadership and system integration know-how. We thank CEC for their vote of confidence in this team,” said Symbio North America General Manager Rob Del Core.

He went on to discuss the hydrogen fuel trucks project by saying that “This demonstration constitutes a major strategic inroad in the region where Symbio is stepping-up our investments in workforce and engineering integration capabilities in California. Ultimately through this project and the contributions of the whole team, we are determined to address current commercialization barriers and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen-based heavy-duty mobility solutions in the goods movement market.”

“We see this grant as a resounding vote of confidence from the California Energy Commission. Being chosen from a pool of strong applicants shows that Symbio is regarded as a tier-one name in hydrogen mobility,” added Michelin North America Chair and President Alexis Garcin.”

“Michelin and Faurecia promote hydrogen through this joint venture, as we believe there is a way to develop mobility while protecting the environment. Hydrogen technology is a vital element in the electric vehicle revolution because it not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also a faster-charging, longer-range option for electric vehicles. This award is a big step in our commitment to sustainable development and mobility,” said Garcin about the hydrogen fuel truck project.