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California truckers can now convert their diesel big rigs to hydrogen-electric power

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California truckers can now convert their diesel big rigs to hydrogen-electric power
Hyzon Motors announced Tuesday that the California Air Resources Board has certified its Class 8, 7, and 6 Repowers as exempt from emission requirements, enabling the company to sell fuel cell electric trucks in California. (courtesy: Hyzon)

ROCHESTER, N.Y.  — Truck drivers in California now have the option to convert their old diesel rigs into fuel cell electric trucks.

Hyzon Motors, which develops zero-emissions, hydrogen powered fuel cell electric commercial vehicles, announced on Tuesday that the California Air Resources Board has certified its Class 8, 7 and 6 Repowers as exempt from emission requirements, enabling the company to sell fuel cell electric trucks in California.

Hyzon’s Repower program allows customers to exchange their used diesel trucks for conversion to fuel cell electric using Hyzon’s technology, according to a news release.

The company touts that its converted rigs offer:

  • Faster production, more affordable and less waste than the average new vehicle build;
  • No learning a new vehicle — it’s the truck the driver is used to, just with a new identity under the hood; and
  • An extension of the truck’s lifetime, even more than a driver would receive by replacing the engine alone.

With this new California certification, Hyzon officials say they expect to offer the first commercially available repowered Class 8, Class 7 and Class 6 fuel cell electric vehicles in California.

“While FCEVs have been granted provisional approvals for trials, and fuel cell electric buses have received CARB certification, no known heavy-or medium-duty FCEVs are currently available, based on the list provided by California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project,” according to a news release from Hyzon.

“We are proud to join the list of vehicle and technology providers certified by CARB (California Air Resources Board) as zero-emission and plan to lead the deployment of fuel cell electric trucks in commercial operations in California,” Craig Knight, Hyzon Motors CEO, said. “Our technology has already proven itself in daily runs at the Port of Long Beach, and we look forward to putting more clean trucks on the road. Drayage operations are a particularly attractive use-case on hydrogen, and we expect to see rapid uptake in California.”

Truck specs

  • Typical driving range: 375-500 miles
  • Electric motor power: 320 kW (429 hp) continuous, 450 kW (603 hp) peak
  • Electric motor torque: 1,180 lb-ft continuous, 1,770 lb-ft peak
  • High voltage battery energy: 110 kWh
  • Powertrain voltage: 650 volt
  • Maximum speed: governed at 55 mph (per customer request, 75 mph capable)
  • Fuel cell power: 120 kW
  • On-board hydrogen: 50-70 kg
  • Working pressure cylinders: 350 bar
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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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