US heavy-duty truck and diesel engine producer Navistar is collaborating with General Motors and hydrogen fuel company OneH2 to develop a complete solution for customer implementation of a hydrogen-based, zero-emission long-haul system, which will be initially piloted by haulage operator J B Hunt Transport.
“Hydrogen fuel cells offer great promise for heavy-duty trucks in applications requiring a higher density of energy, fast refueling and additional range,” said Persio Lisboa, Navistar president and CEO. “We are excited to provide customers with added flexibility through a new hydrogen truck ecosystem that combines our vehicles with the hydrogen fuel cell technology of General Motors and the modular, mobile and scalable hydrogen production and fueling capabilities of OneH2. And we are very pleased that our valued customer J B Hunt has committed to utilize the solution on dedicated routes and to share key learnings.”
Navistar has plans to make its first production model, the International RH Series fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) commercially available in model year 2024. Test vehicles are expected to begin the pilot phase using the new, complete solution at the end of 2022. The company claims the integrated solution will be competitive with other traditional powertrain offerings, with a target range of 500+ miles and a hydrogen fueling time of less than 15 minutes.
The International RH Series FCEV will be powered by two GM Hydrotec fuel cell power cubes. Each power cube contains 300 or more hydrogen fuel cells along with thermal and power management systems, with their modular nature making them ideal for integration into existing vehicle architectures.
Under its partnership agreement with Navistar, OneH2 will supply its hydrogen fueling solution, which includes hydrogen production, storage, delivery and safety. In addition, Navistar is taking a minority stake in OneH2. Through its affiliates, OneH2 plans to kickstart substantial hydrogen-heavy truck refueling infrastructure by incorporating more than 2,000 International RH FCEVs into existing truck fleets in the near term.
John Roberts, J B Hunt president and CEO, was positive about the collaboration with Navistar: “J B Hunt is committed to delivering more while using less, and this new fully integrated solution offers a prime opportunity to do that. The combination of hydrogen fuel cell technology and refueling capability will enable us to reduce emissions along with energy consumption, fulfilling our environmental sustainability commitment to our customers and the communities we serve. We look forward to sharing our learnings from this pilot program with Navistar and its involved technical and infrastructure partners.”