Special Coverage



Hyzon Demonstrates Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Truck

A Hyzon hydrogen fuel cell truck outside the San Diego Convention Center
A Hyzon hydrogen fuel cell truck outside the San Diego Convention Center. (Joe Howard/Transport Topics)

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SAN DIEGO — Hyzon Motors offered on-road demonstrations of its hydrogen fuel cell electric tractor here at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition, giving attendees a hands-on experience with its zero-emission technology.

During the show, the company provided ride-along opportunities in its Class 8 vehicle, a Freightliner Cascadia daycab chassis outfitted with Hyzon’s hydrogen fuel cell system and electric drivetrain.

“We felt it was important to have the truck out there so the industry can get an up-close and personal look,” said Shawn Yadon, president of Hyzon’s commercial operations. “This technology is here. It’s operational right now.”

The zero-emission truck’s fuel cell system uses hydrogen and air to generate electricity to power the vehicle’s electric motor.

The Hyzon truck has a typical driving range of 350 to 500 miles from full to empty, depending on the amount of hydrogen storage tanks on the vehicle, and takes about 15 minutes to refuel.

During an Oct. 24 ride-along demonstration for Transport Topics, driver Cesar Ortega described how the fuel cell truck handles and performs compared with a typical diesel-powered tractor.

“You pretty much get instant torque,” Ortega said while driving the vehicle through city streets in downtown San Diego. “It’s a lot quieter. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same.”

Driver Cesar Ortega demonstrates Hyzon's hydrogen fuel cell truck

Driver Cesar Ortega demonstrates Hyzon's hydrogen fuel cell truck. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics)

The fuel cell truck also can recover energy through regenerative braking.

Hyzon, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., has operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The company was founded in 2020 as a spinoff of Singapore-based fuel cell manufacturer Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies and began trading publicly in mid-2021.

Hyzon installs its fuel cell platform in new Freightliner Cascadia chassis or repowers recent model-year Cascadias to convert them into zero-emission vehicles.

Yadon said Hyzon’s fuel cell electric Class 8 truck is operating today in fleet trials.

“We do have trucks in trials that are actually moving revenue freight right now, and that allows us to collect continuing data on the truck and its performance, and those trial participants are able to gather data as well,” he said.

Yadon, who joined Hyzon in July, previously was CEO of the California Trucking Association.

Hyzon’s first fleet trial in the United States was with Total Transport Services Inc., a port drayage company in Southern California.

Yadon said fuel cell trucks are well suited for high-utilization applications that benefit from refueling times that are comparable to diesel.

The trucks also require access to a source of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen fueling locations for commercial trucks are available today in some places, including near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and other parts of Southern California.

“Today what you’re looking at is more of a back-to-base application for any hydrogen fuel cell truck,” he said. “Over time as that [fueling] infrastructure is more readily available, you’ll see an expansion of what those use cases can be.”

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