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Three Tri-Fuel Hydrogen/E85 Pickups on Display at North Dakota State Fair

Door of H2ICE Silverado highlights its role in the Wind to Hydrogen project. Click to enlarge.

The University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), along with a group of utility and other private sector partners from around the state, will be showcasing a variety of hydrogen-fueled vehicles at the North Dakota State Fair 22-29 July.

Among the vehicles on display are three prototype tri-fuel (hydrogen, E85, gasoline) internal combustion engine (ICE) Chevy Silverados, converted by AFVTech. The vehicles are part of a DOE-sponsored Wind Hydrogen project, which uses wind-generated electricity to power an electrolyzer for the production of hydrogen. (Earlier post.)

An important element of the wind hydrogen project is the development of various control schemes by which the electrolyzer can interface with the electrical output of wind turbines to optimize fuel production, particularly during low electricity demand periods.

North Dakota has been called the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” An analysis several years ago by GE Research concluded that North Dakotan wind has the potential to supply 1/3 of the electricity consumption of the lower 48 states. Furthermore, the state could become a clean fuel supplier to Minneapolis and Chicago by piping hydrogen.

The three Silverados were production flex-fuel vehicles converted by AFVTech to support hydrogen combustion—making them, in essence, a tri-flex-fuel vehicle. (Earlier post.)

H2ICE Silverado Emissions
HC 0.009
CO 0.090
NOx 0.031
CO2 3.230

AFVTech’s H2ICE conversion system is a sequentially controlled fuel injection system. AFVTech has developed this fuel system with the goal of achieving full OBDII and EPA compliance. Initial tests concluded that the H2ICE prototype emits .004% of the CO2 emissions of a gasoline vehicle and even lower hydrocarbon emissions.

The modifications to the base vehicle include ported and polished heads; stainless steel valves; powdered metal valve seats; hydrogen injectors; and custom programming. The engines are normally aspirated.

AFVTech’s design target was to hit Tier 2 Bin 3 emissions levels. In their first measured test procedure, the converted engines achieved emissions levels that met or exceeded tier 2 Bin 6 for NOx.

Running on hydrogen, the pickups deliver combined cycle fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon (US) gasoline equivalent without the air conditioning running, and 18 mpgge with the air conditioning on. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 21.4 seconds.

Other hydrgoen vehicles on display at the fair include:

  • eP-Ice Bear, the world’s first fuel-cell ice resurfacer
  • Toro Workman, a fuel-cell electric utility vehicle
  • Hyster forklift, a fuel cell-powered forklift
  • GEM neighborhood electric vehicle
  • UND fuel cell vehicle

Consortium members of the Wind Hydrogen Project include Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Verendrye Electric Power Cooperative, Velva; the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), Stuart Energy and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) North Central Research Extension Center, Minot.


Max Reid

If it can run on Hydrogen and Gasolene (C8H18), then it should run on CNG (C1H4) and Propane (C3H8) as well.

With every passing day, multi fuel vehicles are becoming common.

Thats good.

Mark R. W. Jr.

I think multi-fuel vehicles are a good idea. Putting all our apples into one basket with one fuel source (ethanol, methanol, CNG, hydrogen, etc.) could be risky so why not have vehicles run on more than one kind of fuel?

A Chevy Silverado, eh? Didn't Ford have a concept F-250 pickup that also could run on gas, E85, and hydrogen?


Mike, its “powdered metal valve seats”


Thanks! Corrected.


I wonder why they continue to use large pickup trucks and SUV to demonstate these advances?? I aslo wonder what they are getting on the MPG ratio conversion with these large pickup trucks and SUV's?? Seems like a big waste to continue to use these kind of vehicles!!

There is no future for the large pickups and SUV's...


Trucks are probably much easier to convert to multi-fuel vehicles because they have more space to put the high pressure or cryogenic hydrogen tanks, besides the fact that they like greenwashing these vehicles so they can continue to sell.


Trucks are also needed by those companies that tend to fund these types of projects.


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