A courier service is driving retrofitted hydrogen FCEV vans to facilitate package deliveries. - Photo: Canva

A courier service is driving retrofitted hydrogen FCEV vans to facilitate package deliveries.

Photo: Canva

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) have deployed the first of a planned 15 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) medium-duty delivery vans, as part of their collaborative effort to replace diesel-powered vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SoCalGas' support and funding of the project are aimed to help propel ongoing advancements toward the commercialization of zero-emission, medium-duty vehicles and potentially assist companies in decarbonizing their fleets.

A courier service is driving these hydrogen FCEV vans to facilitate package deliveries in underserved communities within the Inland Empire.

Hydrogen-Powered Vans Transform Delivery Logistics

The project team has achieved a successful retrofit of diesel delivery vans, transforming them into hybrid electric vehicles equipped with onboard hydrogen storage and a fuel cell range extender.

These vans can recharge their batteries through frequent stops during deliveries, significantly extending their range and enabling the courier service to meet their route requirements.

The pilot project's primary goal is to showcase the potential of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vans for delivery operations.

This endeavor involves Accelera by Cummins, Unique Electric Solutions, and the University of Texas, Center for Electromechanics.

Hydrogen-Powered Delivery Vans Tackle Pollution

The converted delivery vans conveniently access a public hydrogen refueling station in Ontario, serving as a vital refueling hub for these retrofitted vehicles.

These vans primarily cater to underserved communities, and their shift to hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles holds the promise of mitigating localized pollution concerns linked to package delivery.

The project team remains committed to monitoring emissions reductions throughout this pilot project, offering valuable insights for similar endeavors.

Within the broader scope of Clean Transportation Evolution's initiatives, they have played a crucial role in supporting nearly 100 transit agencies in deploying or planning over 700 zero-emission buses. CTE has also been actively involved in almost 40 significant projects nationwide, aiding agencies in devising strategic plans to transition their entire vehicle fleets to zero-emission solutions.

While CTE's contributions have accelerated the adoption of zero-emission transportation, SoCalGas is equally dedicated to this cause.

The company's commitment to sustainability was recently acknowledged when it received the Leading Private Fleet Award at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo. This recognition underscores SoCalGas' dedication to executing its ASPIRE 2045 sustainability strategy, which includes replacing 50% of its long-haul fleet with clean fuel vehicles by 2025 and achieving a zero-emission fleet by 2035. Presently, one-third of SoCalGas' fleet already operates on clean fuels.

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