Hydra Energy partners with Chemtrade to provide commercial truck fleets with green hydrogen below the cost of diesel
Continuing to speed up the adoption of hydrogen in long-haul transportation, Hydra Energy—the first Hydrogen-as-a-Service provider for commercial fleets—announced a strategic partnership with Chemtrade. The long-term contract is a pillar of Hydra’s Hydrogen-as-a-Service (HaaS) business model and includes Hydra capturing, cleaning, and compressing hydrogen sourced from Chemtrade.
In exchange for long-term, discounted fuel contracts with fleets, Hydra installs hydrogen-diesel co-combustion conversion kits into existing semi-trucks and provides the fueling infrastructure for green hydrogen sourced from chemical producers such as Chemtrade. Hydra pays for the truck conversion and the on-site fueling infrastructure.
Initially, both companies are focused on one of Chemtrade’s plants in British Columbia with the potential to expand across the country. Commercial truck fleet operators with Hydra-converted semi-trucks can access green hydrogen at a fixed price, five percent below the price they typically pay for diesel.
Multi-year pilots demonstrated an ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 40%, using hydrogen-injection technology and fuel source without impacting truck performance or range. Natural gas distributors can also use the green hydrogen to meet renewable content requirements.
Hydra’s ability to deploy stranded hydrogen assets to fleet operators, who can use it to reduce their fuel costs and meet emission targets, opens up new opportunities for chemical manufacturers. The company’s distinctive HaaS model helps commercial fleets reduce costs and emissions with limited risk and no up-front investment.
California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard fuel pathways report notes diesel fuel possesses a carbon intensity of 74.86g per megajoule of energy (g CO2/MJ). While still in the process of being defined internationally, a spectrum of colors are typically used to define the carbon intensity of hydrogen, from grey on the higher side and green on the lower end of the spectrum.
In Hydra’s case, the company applies a circular economy approach using hydrogen gas already vented as a by-product of manufacturing to fuel fleets. In some plant implementations, such as its initial Chemtrade project, Hydra can also leverage hydropower to power its compressors, making it possible to achieve under 10.53g per megajoule—fitting within the range of both low-carbon and green hydrogen.
This achievement was verified through a full greenhouse life cycle analysis completed by Don O’Connor, CEO of S&T Squared Consultants Inc, the expert behind the greenhouse gas analysis used in British Columbia’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program.
Global transportation is currently responsible for 16% of GHG emissions, with a significant portion from road transport. In Canada, 10.5% of these emissions come from freight transportation. In the US, this number increases to 23% stemming from medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
Beyond the environmental impact, we’ve learned from trucking operators that they typically only achieve two to five percent operating margins with fuel costs coming in at half of a fleet’s operating expenses. This represents an opportunity for a more economical approach made possible by a strategic partnership like the one we’ve just announced with Chemtrade. We offer the most cost-effective approach for chemical manufacturers to turn an often wasted asset into something of value while delivering hydrogen at below-diesel rates for those commercial truck fleets ready to go green now.—David Batstone, Hydra Energy board member and managing director of Just Business, an impact fund out of Silicon Valley
The flagship Hydra-Chemtrade commercial project will break ground this year, with gas expected to be flowing in 2022.