A mass market for fuel cell trucks by 2025
Hyzon Motors attracted a great deal of coverage when it announced its intention to build 1,000 fuel cell buses, a move that could revolutionize the transportation industry (see H2-international, August 2020). But the start-up business is also eager to see both heavy-duty and pickup trucks run on hydrogen. To promote its fuel cell vehicles, it recently published several images depicting futuristic truck designs (see fig. 1).
In early 2020, the New York-based company said that it will reopen General Motors‘ former fuel cell facility in Rochester to produce systems for both buses and trucks. The 100-kilowatt VL III-100 PEMFCs (comprising 372 individual cells) that it wants to integrate into the systems will reportedly be shipped from Singapore by Horizon, its major shareholder. Initially, the focus will be on making fuel cell buses and heavy-duty trucks, Hyzon said, with the first trucks to be delivered before the end of this year. In 2021, the company then wants to expand its product portfolio by offering delivery vans and small buses that can carry up to 15 passengers. A 4WD pickup model could follow in 2022 or 2023. Other plans include manufacturing a regular four-seat passenger vehicle for ride-sharing. Each of these vehicles will have a range of around 373 miles (600 kilometers).
Hyzon said that it is already accepting preorders, at a EUR 10,000 discount, though the company has yet to state how much the vehicles will cost. It only remarked that it will offer all-inclusive leases and expects to deliver 2,000 units in the first three years after launch, aiming for a mass market for fuel cell trucks by 2025.
Holthausen to serve Hyzon customers in Europe
In July, news broke that Hyzon will set up its European office in the Dutch city of Groningen, where it founded a subsidiary, Hyzon Motors Europe, in partnership with Holthausen Clean Technology. The subsidiary will convert heavy-duty trucks, presumably DAF XF Space Cab tractor units, to run on fuel cells.
Holthausen Clean Technology had already made headlines two years ago when it changed a Tesla into an FCEV, renaming it H2esla (see H2-international, May 2018). Driven by Max Holthausen, the vehicle later participated in f-cell‘s Hydrogen Rallye in September 2019 (see H2-international, February 2020). Hyzon has since invested in the Dutch fuel cell pioneer.
One thing is for sure: Hyzon is confident of success. Its announcements are studded with superlatives, like best-in-class, and promises of a sharp competitive edge, among other things. In a recent press release, the company wrote that its “aggressive commercialization plans will support growing investment in hydrogen infrastructure in the USA, Australia, the EU and other jurisdictions.”
“A European pioneer in the fuel cell truck market, we have years of experience in making FCEVs. We are honored to be joining forces with Hyzon to bring customers the most advanced technology.”
Max and Carl Holthausen, managing directors of Holthausen
“We have seen incredible growth in Asia in recent years at Horizon, and now with the experience gained from hundreds of trucks in commercial service, we aim to bring our technology to the roads of the world.”
“Our fuel cell systems have already proven themselves, and we see an opportunity to help the world decarbonize transportation much faster than people currently believe is possible.”
George Gu, CEO of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies and Hyzon Motors
“We have developed fuel cells which have a significant advantage in whole-of-life cost and combining this with the imminent availability of very competitive large-scale green (renewable or sustainable) hydrogen in a number of countries, we are rapidly closing in on a total cost of ownership lower than diesel-based fleets.”
Craig Knight, chief executive of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies
… Read more in the latest edition of H2-International October 2020