Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and Hyzon Motors, a supplier of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial vehicles, announced Sept. 1 their plans to partner on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric utility truck. The partnership supports SoCalGas' NetZero 2045 climate commitment, which includes replacing its over-the-road fleet with electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, achieving a 100% zero emissions fleet by 2035.
As part of the partnership, Hyzon will deliver a Class 3 commercial service body utility truck to SoCalGas by 2022. The truck is expected to reach a maximum power of 200 kilowatts, with a range of 300 miles and will be built on the existing chassis OEM used by SoCalGas, minimizing the updates needed for operations, servicing, and training.
In April, SoCalGas also announced plans to convert 200 Ford F-250 service pick-up trucks to run on renewable natural gas (RNG) – a renewable form of energy produced from a variety of organic waste streams that will allow SoCalGas to start reducing its carbon footprint while alternatives are developed. With the addition of these trucks, nearly 40% of SoCalGas' fleet will be operating on clean fuels.
Known for its heavy-duty Class 8 vehicles and fuel cell power, the partnership with SoCalGas also marks Hyzon's entrance into the light truck vehicle class sector. Hyzon is uniquely suited to build vehicles for these commercial applications because of its experience producing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles used by companies in rugged environments, such as the Australian Outback.
"The fuel cell does not care what it is powering," said Hyzon CEO Craig Knight. "Since Hyzon's fuel cell can power up to 154-ton trucks, we can adapt it to support the performance needs of SoCalGas' fleet."
Hydrogen, which is converted to electricity through a fuel cell with no tailpipe emissions, powers the vehicle through fuel cells that are compact, powerful, and uniquely suited for long haul and high utilization back-to-base transport. Hydrogen fuel tanks can be refilled as fast as diesel tanks, a distinct advantage over batteries that typically take at least twice as long to recharge.