Sumitomo and US Hybrid partnering to grow hydrogen fuel cell business for commercial vehicles and mass transit
Sumitomo Corporation together with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (collectively, SC Group) announced a strategic collaboration agreement with US Hybrid to grow US Hybrid’s fuel cell production business through the expansion of fuel cell stack production capacity. (Earlier post.) SC Group will play an integral role in the project by coordinating discussions with OEMs using the integrated trading company’s global network.
US Hybrid, together with its Fuel Cell division, US FuelCell, has more than 26 years of experience in fuel cell balance of plant components and vehicle development and deployment. US FuelCell was established in 2013 after US Hybrid purchased the UTC Power PEM fuel cell Transportation division along with the global PEM IP license. The company currently offers an 80 kW integrated fuel cell system (FCe 80) and a 150 kW system (FCe150).
US Hybrid introduced the “freeze-capable” 80 kW unit in May. The integrated power plant simplifies vehicle integration and is compatible with existing J1939 vehicle diagnostics, further simplifying the service and maintenance of fuel cell engines.
|US Hybrid FCe 80. Click to enlarge.|
That announcement followed on the news of US FuelCell’s recently awarded contracts to supply the integrated fuel cell engine as a commercially viable range extender battery dominant fuel cell bus for Sunline Transit in Coachella Valley California and to manufacture five fuel cell powered class-8 drayage trucks (37T) for operation at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Houston.
The 80kW fuel cell power plant is capable of operating at temperatures as low as -30 ˚C with rapid start capability from -30 ˚C and is not required to be powered during non-operational periods to remain above freezing, further reducing operational and maintenance costs and failure risk in all-weather environments.
We highly respect Japanese automakers as a leader in commercializing fuel cell passenger vehicles, and we consider our new freeze capable, fuel cell powertrains to be a game-changer for the equally important market segments of medium and heavy duty trucks for freight movement and buses for public transit. We are very pleased to be working with Sumitomo, as a global strategic business development partner, in order to commercialize our fuel cell engine and integrated vehicle technologies that have proven reliability for both on-road and off-road transportation.—Abas Goodarzi, President of US Hybrid
By bridging US Hybrid’s excellent technology and Sumitomo’s deep relationships with OEMs, we are excited to contribute to this project and realize the potential for using clean hydrogen energy in commercial transportation. We view this partnership as an investment into the way mass transportation performs in the future, mitigating the negative impact on the environment.—Duke Kato, Senior Vice President at Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
SC Group has studied hydrogen as a future clean energy source, including how fuel cell technologies can be applied to cars. Through this research, SC Group has recognized the need to develop this clean energy technology for greater infrastructure needs, specifically applying it to public transportation. Sumitomo already supplies fuel cell components, and earlier invested in UK-based ACAL Energy.
Sumitomo considers the agreement with US Hybrid an important next step in developing this technology.
US Hybrid’s products have been used in many OEM commercial vehicles worldwide, including transit systems and trucks with more than one million accumulated kilometers of operation. US Hybrid’s 170kW and 240kW drive motors currently power monorails in Brazil and Malaysia, while US Hybrid’s 320kW drives power heavy-duty mining equipment as well as Class 8 trucks.