|Vision Industries Class 8 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell hybrid-electric truck at the Port of Los Angeles. (Photo: Business Wire). Click to enlarge.|
The Port of Los Angeles is entering into negotiations with Los Angeles-based Vision Industries for the purchase and evaluation of Vision’s Tyrano hydrogen fuel cell hybrid-electric trucks. (Earlier post.) The trucks will be tested to evaluate their suitability for short and medium distance drayage operations and other similar applications.
The Vision Industries trucks will be put through a series of on-road and laboratory tests to demonstrate their usefulness in a variety of drayage duty cycles, including different loads, road conditions and travel distances. Local drayage trucking companies are expected to assist with the demonstration over the next 12 to 18 months, and the University of California at Riverside’s College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) laboratories will help guide the data collection and analysis.
CE-CERT’s partnership with the Port of Los Angeles on this project is expected to help demonstrate the utility of zero emission vehicles in a variety of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle applications that extend beyond the port setting. The Port of Los Angeles will be submitting a proposal for funding from the California Energy Commission to help support this project.
The California Energy Commission has established an Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to develop and deploy advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state’s climate change policies.
The Port of Los Angeles will continue working with Balqon Corporation, another Class 8 electric vehicle manufacturer, through an existing contract to demonstrate the use of its fully electric vehicle. (Earlier post.) The CE-CERT laboratories will also guide these evaluations.
The Vision trucks are powered by a combination of a hydrogen fuel cell and lithium-ion batteries and have a potential range of up to 400 miles with the extended hydrogen storage option (33 kg of gaseous hydrogen, vs. the standard 16.5 kg).
We are very pleased to work with the Port of Los Angeles to demonstrate the viability of our zero emission, hybrid electric/hydrogen fuel cell truck. These vehicles are 30 percent to 40 percent less expensive to operate than diesel trucks. We expect a strong market demand once these trucks are in the hands of California medium and heavy duty equipment operators.
—Martin Schuermann, President and CEO of Vision Industries
FedEx Freight Corp. is also testing a tractor powered by the hydrogen/electric hybrid Tyrano drive train. As part of an agreement announced in November 2009, Vision Industries will configure a FedEx Freight tractor with the Tyrano drive train. The reconfigured vehicle will then be tested for one year in certain operations to evaluate the operational suitability of the Vision Tyrano technology.
The Port’s Clean Truck Program, which began in October 2008, has removed thousands of polluting trucks from the Port and delivered at least an 80 percent reduction in air emissions while maintaining an efficient drayage fleet.
The Port of Los Angeles believes that zero emission vehicles will be necessary in coming years in order to contribute to achieving the goals for the transportation and port sectors under California’s AB 32 greenhouse gas reduction legislation and the City’s GreenLA initiative. This has led the Port to begin planning for a transition to zero emission vehicles over the next decade.