Industry players typically look to battery-powered electric trucks as a way to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions generated by conventional diesel engines. But even as heavyweights like automaker General Motors (GM) and retailer Amazon.com invest billions of dollars in battery-operated vehicles, others are looking at different ways to skin the “pollution” cat.
In fact, GM itself announced in January that it is also providing hydrogen fuel cell “power cubes” to automotive manufacturer Navistar Inc. for a new generation of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) semi trucks, known as the International RH Series. Each “Hydrotec” power cube contains more than 300 hydrogen fuel cells, enabling it to provide 80 kilowatts of zero-emission power, according to GM. The Navistar FCEV trucks will be outfitted with two power cubes apiece.
And while any new power source requires infrastructure to support it, that may not be a huge sticking point here. The global market for hydrogen fueling stations is experiencing a “dramatic acceleration in growth” that saw 584 hydrogen stations in use by the end of 2020, according to a study from market research company Information Trends.
The number of countries hosting those stations has now reached 33, with 12% in the Americas; 36% in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and 52% in the Asia Pacific region. But the Americas will soon start catching up, expanding their share of the market to 23% by 2035 thanks to “staggering” sums of money being invested by public-private partnerships, the firm said.