California Energy Commission Awards Grant for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck


The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected Symbio, Michelin, Faurecia, GTI and other industry partners to develop and demonstrate a hydrogen-fueled, regional-haul Class 8 truck, as major contributors to a state-supported hydrogen mobility project.

The Symbio H2 Central Valley Express project, supported with $2 million from the CEC, will develop and demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell truck that matches the performance of a 15-liter diesel truck providing a zero-emission solution for demanding regional-haul trucking operations. Starting in the second half of 2023, the truck will run for 12 months on a challenging 400-mile route between the Inland Empire and Northern San Joaquin Valley. Located inside California natural gas investor-owned utility territory, it will utilize existing and future hydrogen infrastructure primarily provided by Air Liquide, Shell and Trillium’s. This hydrogen truck project strives to support California’s goal to achieve economy wide carbon neutrality by 2045.

“We are thrilled with this award – a testimonial of Symbio’s recognized fuel-cell technology leadership and system integration know-how,” says Rob Del Core, general manager of Symbio North America. “We thank CEC for their vote of confidence in this team. This demonstration constitutes a major strategic inroad in the region where Symbio is stepping-up our investments in workforce and engineering integration capabilities in California. Ultimately through this project and the contributions of the whole team, we are determined to address current commercialization barriers and accelerate the adoption of hydrogen-based heavy-duty mobility solutions in the goods movement market.”

Faurecia, a Group FORVIA company, will bring its expertise in hydrogen storage systems by providing a complete hydrogen storage system with five 700 bar homologated tanks. Michelin will provide low-rolling resistance tires that combine safety, longevity, environmental protection and increased load capacity. Symbio will design, develop and integrate a heavy-duty long-haul, truck-ready, fuel cell powertrain powered by Symbio’s fuel cell stack technology – StackPack, coupled with Faurecia’s hydrogen storage system and Michelin’s low resistance tires into a Freightliner Cascadia platform.

“We see this grant as a resounding vote of confidence from the California Energy Commission,” adds Alexis Garcin, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Being chosen from a pool of strong applicants shows that Symbio is regarded as a tier-one name in hydrogen mobility. Michelin and Faurecia promote hydrogen through this joint venture, as we believe there is a way to develop mobility while protecting the environment. Hydrogen technology is a vital element in the electric vehicle revolution because it not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also a faster-charging, longer-range option for electric vehicles. This award is a big step in our commitment to sustainable development and mobility.”

GTI will lead the grant administration, provide technical insight and program management, and perform data collection. Other project partners include fleet operator Total Transportation Services to demonstrate the truck, Frontier Energy for community outreach and Ricardo Strategic Consulting for demonstration data analysis. Southern California Gas Company and Utilization Technology Development, a global collaboration of natural gas utilities, will provide funding support.

“This special project showcases the strength of a unique ecosystem of partners with innovative technologies of which Faurecia is proud to be a part of, in a region that is leading the future of clean energy,” comments Jose-Vicente March, zero emission general manager at Faurecia. “We appreciate the trust given to us by the California Energy Commission to enhance hydrogen technology solutions for heavy duty mobility. It shows great confidence in Faurecia’s hydrogen storage systems’ expertise and strategic vision for hydrogen mobility as a cornerstone of the energy transition.”

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