Hydrogen – Fuel Cell Technology, Infrastructure

Fed Grants Help Develop Fuel Cell Delivery Van, Truck

December 27, 2013

Honda showed its FCEV Concept at the L.A. Auto Show.
Honda showed its FCEV Concept at the L.A. Auto Show.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded more than $7 million for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure projects in four states to speed the development of the technology.

The funds will be distributed to projects in Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee to create "more affordable cleaner transportation and power options," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

Projects getting funding include the development of a fuel-cell delivery van and truck, as well as hydrogen infrastructure improvements.

"Reduced oil dependence is an important part of President Obama's energy security and climate plans and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies will help ensure America's continued leadership in clean energy innovation," Moniz said.

The two largest outlays go toward the development of fuel cell fleet vehicles in partnerships with United Parcel Service and FedEx Express.

The Center for Transportation and the Environment gets $3 million to develop a fuel cell hybrid walk-in delivery van with a 150-mile range. The project will also retrofit 15 UPS delivery vans with hybrid fuel cell powertrains. The hybrid vans will be tested at various California locations.

The University of Texas’s Center for Electromechanics, Electric Vehicles International, Hydrogenics USA and Valence Technology will also participate in this Atlanta-based project.

Another $3 million will go toward FedEx Express to develop a hybrid fuel cell delivery truck with a 150-mile range. Twenty of the trucks will be tested in Tennessee and California. Plug Power and Smith Electric Vehicles will also participate in this Memphis, Tenn.,-based project.

The DOE will also give $900,000 to Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, Pa., to partner with Structural Composites Industries in the development of a cost-effective tube trailer for hydrogen delivery and storage that can handle high pressures. Testing will occur at hydrogen fueling stations in Southern California.

Lastly, $250,000 will go to Sprint in Overland Park, Kan., to deploy fuel cell backup power systems to test modular and lightweight fuel cell systems. Air Products, Altergy Systems, Burns & McDonnell Engineering, CommScope, First Element Energy, IGX Group, and ReliOn will also participate in this project.

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