Lift truck vendor Hyster-Yale Group will team with cargo truck provider Capacity Trucks to jointly develop electric- and hydrogen-powered terminal tractors in a move that addresses growing demand for environmentally sustainable terminal tractor solutions in port, terminal, and distribution center markets, the firms said today.
Initial prototypes are targeted to be available in 2021 for market testing, and will be designed to use automation technology provided by VDL Automated Vehicles, a subsidiary of VDL Groep BV, a Dutch firm that makes heavy duty automated transport solutions such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
According to Greenville, N.C.-based Hyster-Yale, the agreement leverages each company’s expertise in the global material handling solutions market, featuring Capacity’s terminal truck platform of spotter trucks, also known as yard jockeys or yard trucks. In turn, Hyster-Yale will will offer its experience in lift truck electric powertrain technology and hydrogen fuel cell technology developed by its subsidiary company, Nuvera.
“We are working closely with our customers to achieve their zero-emissions goals and responding to their needs with the most robust electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions through this strategic partnership with Hyster-Yale,” Ryan Rockafellow, vice president and general manager of Capacity Trucks, said in a release. “Together our companies bring best-in-class capabilities to provide and help our customers adapt to a changing marketplace with advanced technology.”
Investors have been building new systems for alternative fuels and autonomous operation in cargo yards in recent years, including a $65 million venture capital round in October for Colorado startup Outrider and a grant-funded initiative for electric yard hostlers at the Port of Oakland in 2018.