Hydrogen fuel experts want commercial trucks to green up

The goods transportation industry must consider fuel cells and other electric technologies, they said.

The trucking industry must continue its adoption of hydrogen fuel cells and other types of electric tech to fight climate change, said experts last week.

The California Hydrogen Business Council co-hosted a webinar underscoring this shift.

The webinar underscored the importance of green commercial trucks. They also placed the spotlight on efforts companies and the government have already been taking along this road.

“We have an emissions problem, which is projected to get worse in the coming years,” said Ballard Power Systems market manager Alan Mace. “Global economies continue to entwine, and we are increasingly dependent on the movement of freight by trucks.”

Over the next thirty years, freight volume growth is forecasted at 40 percent, according to Mace. By 2030, one billion people will live in cities and e-commerce is growing explosively. The result will be the need for a higher number of transportation vehicles on the roads.

The more commercial trucks there are on the roads, the more emissions will rise, said Mace.

“With more vehicles on the road, emissions will increase,” explained Mace. “Transportation already is responsible for 22% of energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. Transportation emissions are increasing at a faster rate than any other sector.”

He stated that using hydrogen fuel cell technologies and other electric vehicle tech is an available solution to this growing problem. The US Department of Energy and other experts around the world have pointed to electric vehicle technology as a critical solution to reducing emissions in transportation. Mace added that efficient and clean electrification across all vehicle classes – including cars, trains, ships, trucks, and even specialty vehicles – has already started.

Cory Shumaker, development specialist at the California Hydrogen Business Council, showed that several efforts are already being made at the federal and local levels. The push toward greener alternatives in the trucking industry is a substantial one.

There is “desperate need for action” toward greener commercial trucks, said Shumaker, particularly in certain specific locations such as the South Coast Air Basin. Shumaker Commercial Trucks - Truck on city roadexplained that this would make a meaningful difference in a location where emissions from these goods transportation vehicles have already reached harmful levels.

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