Bill seeks to accelerate adoption of hydrogen fuel cell trucks

March 21, 2022

Tyson Fisher

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During a time when diesel prices are through the roof, a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives called the Hydrogen for Trucks Act attempts to expedite the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

On March 11, Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., introduced HR7064 with the short title Hydrogen for Trucks Act of 2022. Porter and want the secretary of transportation to coordinate with the secretary of energy “to establish a grant program to demonstrate the performance and reliability of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles that use hydrogen as a fuel source, and for other purposes.”

The Hydrogen for Trucks Act applies to vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds that are propelled solely by an electric motor that draws electricity from either a fuel cell or a combination of a fuel cell and a battery. The bill establishes a grant program for purchases of those trucks. Eligible entities include fleets (public and private), independent owner-operators and public hydrogen fueling station developers/operators.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 49 hydrogen fueling station in the United States. However, 47 of those stations are in California. Including planned hydrogen fuel stations, there are 106 locations. Although 98 of those are in California, there are several planned fuel stations in the Northeast region.

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If passed, administrators would be tasked with seeking grant recipients across the nation. The Hydrogen for Trucks Act is intended to demonstrate different types of fleet operations, including differing local hydrogen supplies, climate conditions, route lengths and geographies, and sizes of vehicles.

Eligible entities must demonstrate the performance of no fewer than 10 heavy-duty fuel cell trucks that use hydrogen as a fuel source.

The Hydrogen for Trucks Act calls for $20 million for grants.

Grant money can go towards capital, operating, fuel and overhead costs. Additionally, training and compliance costs are eligible. However, the use of grant money to purchase hydrogen fuel cell trucks cannot exceed the lesser of $500,000 or the amount by which the truck exceeds 50% of the cost of a comparable gasoline or diesel truck.

“The transition to clean energy is a huge opportunity for our economy, and we ought to be incentivizing it,” Porter said in a statement. “Hydrogen provides clean fuel and reliable storage opportunities, both of which are essential to reducing carbon emissions in sectors that are hard to electrify. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help us reach our climate goals and make our economy more globally competitive.”

As of publication, the bill had three co-sponsors: Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.; Michael Doyle, D-Pa.; and Greg Pence, R-Ind. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Porter also introduced HR7065, the Hydrogen for Ports Act, which is a similar bill for maritime applications. Companion bills for both of Porter’s hydrogen bills have been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.