Alberta truck drivers test out hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles

Alberta-based transport companies had the chance Friday to test out Class 8 commercial vehicles that use alternative, energy-efficient fuels.

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) hosted the Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstration program at Edmonton International Airport.

“We’re celebrating the deployment of next-level technology, putting hydrogen-powered trucks in the hands of our carrier members to truly be able to demonstrate and explore this new alternative energy in the real world,” said Jude Groves, who sits on AMTA’s board of directors.

Read more: Here comes hydrogen: How this abundant element could revolutionize the way we fuel our lives

Read next: Part of the Sun breaks free and forms a strange vortex, baffling scientists

Drivers were able to test out the trucks and see how they might work as part of regular fleet operations. This initiative is the first of its kind in Canada, AMTA said.

Story continues below advertisement

“These trials will look at the performance of hydrogen-fueled vehicles on Alberta roads, payloads, and weather conditions and will address challenges around fuel cell reliability, infrastructure, and vehicle cost and maintenance,” AMTA said on its website.

Click to play video: 'New investment reinforces Edmonton’s burgeoning reputation as a hydrogen hub'

New investment reinforces Edmonton’s burgeoning reputation as a hydrogen hub

Cole Fouillard has had his truck retrofitted to be equipped with multi-port hydrogen injection system.

“It actually de-risks a lot of the fleet owners who are bringing in this technology,” he said. “There are no modifications to the engine.

“Is it damaging on my engine? Are there any negative affects to running it in the engine? Are we going to be running into warranty issues? (Those) are some of the main questions that most fleet owners ask.

“Hydrogen energy has a significant amount of data, hundreds of thousands of kilometres worth of data… the engine runs a bit cleaner, (there’s) a lot less down time on the engines, which is really important for any fleet owners.”

Story continues below advertisement

Fouillard said the hydrogen retrofit system is simple to install and can be transferred to other vehicles.

“When this truck gets kilometred out and you’re ready to go resell that truck, you can simply take this equipment off this truck and put it on the next truck that you’re replacing it with. It’s something that can be recycled and re-leveraged.”

Read more: Suncor and Atco working together on potential hydrogen project near Edmonton

Read next: Exclusive: Widow’s 911 call before James Smith Cree Nation murders reveals prior violence

The Alberta association says these vehicles can help Canada reach its 2030 net-zero goals and encourage more uptake of zero-emission commercial vehicles.

“In the commercial transportation space, that zero-energy focus, that initiative, obviously it’s going to take time to deploy,” Groves said.

“Our vision, our mission, for this project is to allow carriers to experience this technology, to explore that potential.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton, Strathcona County launch pilot program for hydrogen-electric transit buses'

Edmonton, Strathcona County launch pilot program for hydrogen-electric transit buses

Using hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for heavy-duty transport, like semi trucks, means there’s already a set of performance indicators, compared to electric vehicles, Justin Reimer, CEO with Emissions Reduction Alberta, said.

Story continues below advertisement

And, there are other advantages.

“On city buses, for instances, electric vehicles, because of our cold climate, still need a diesel generator to heat the bus, whereas the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles do not.

“Don’t get me wrong, we need all of it. It’s not an either-or. You’re going to want to see a fleet of hydrogen and electric vehicles in the future,” Reimer said.

Read more: Ottawa doles out $9.7 million to support Alberta jobs, hydrogen industry

Read next: Google AI chatbot Bard gives wrong answer, sending shares plummeting

He believes Alberta is one of the best places in North America to trial hydrogen-based fuel vehicles.

“We produce enormous amounts of hydrogen already in this province. We have a great set of infrastructure, skills and expertise around fuels, and hydrogen specifically, that can be maximized. We have a lot of existing infrastructure that can be utilized to support this development.”

Reimer sees a lot of transport companies watching to see how an alternative-fuel-powered fleet might work.

“I think a lot of companies are interested and evaluating right now. They want to see more data being gathered and see the results of these trials before they make big decisions.”

Click to play video: '‘This is Canada’s future’: Freeland hopeful about new hydrogen deal with Germany'

‘This is Canada’s future’: Freeland hopeful about new hydrogen deal with Germany

&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source