Project with OEM for a Port-Type Demonstration Vehicle
To “Not Just Work Technically But Work with a Business Case’
Vancouver-based Loop Energy, which claims technology for highly efficient fuel cell stacks and vehicle systems with an eye to the Class 8 market, reports a grant worth C$7.5 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada toward a C$22.68 million project to outfit a new Peterbilt tractor with zero-emission drive for a demonstration at a goods distribution center or port. updated March 15
The vehicle will be able plug in to operate on grid electricity using its Loop hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender, or will be able to operate solely on hydrogen, says Loop sales and marketing VP Dag Hinrichs. Loop is to supply the entire hydrogen drive, to be installed in a Peterbilt 579 tractor, he told F&F.
The fuel cell, he says, “lightweights the battery,” allowing for a workable cargo-carrying capability. Loop envisions a 439-horsepower driveline using a 135-kilowatt-hour battery and a 54-kilowatt fuel cell.
‘A Business Case’
The vehicle, he says, has to “not just work technically but work with a business case.” The partners are still mulling whether to use 5,000- or 10,000-psi hydrogen fuel tanks. Target range is 200 miles.
“This award reflects [SDTC’s] conviction that Loop’s zero-emission powertrain is a commercially competitive solution for heavy duty trucks,” Loop Energy president Ben Nyland said in a release. “That’s a huge validation for us.”
Cleaner Trucks Are Key
“It will be impossible to reach international emission reduction goals without implementing solutions for heavy duty trucking,” states an SDTC summary. Heavy trucking, says the agency, represents just 4% of total vehicles in North America yet accounts for 20% of the fuel consumed, “translating into the lion’s share of emissions in the transportation industry.
“Loop Energy Inc. will produce a heavy duty Class 8 truck that delivers zero emissions with performance and attributes that operators’ demand,” SDTC says.
Electric Drive with Hydrogen Fuel
“The Loop system combines an EV battery with a hydrogen fuel cell designed around [Loop’s] patented e-Flow technology to deliver superior performance to diesel engines at a lower total cost of ownership,” the agency adds.
“SDTC is a real leader in vetting and supporting green technologies that will solve climate change,” Nyland said.
The partners are deciding where the vehicle will be converted, Hinrichs says, with possibilities including the Peterbilt factory in Denton, Texas. Peterbilt, he adds, is “fully committed to supporting this process to successful delivery.” Loop has lined up an owner/operator to test the vehicle Hinrichs says, describing the customer as a transport operator that does port drayage work in multiple locations.
Loop is ‘One of Many Partners,’ Says OEM
“Loop Energy is one of many partners Peterbilt tracks in the development of new technologies,” Peterbilt principal engineer and advanced concepts manager Bill Kahn said in an email to F&F.
“The grant they received through Sustainable Development Technology Canada will be beneficial in development of a potential zero-emission powertrain,” he said. “We look forward to working with them to test this technology in a Peterbilt heavy-duty truck.”
Peterbilt says that the installation of the Loop powertrain will not take place during the assembly process: “It will be retrofit.”
U.S. dollar figures for the program are approximately $5.64 million from SDTC toward an overall effort worth $17 million, according to current rates. “Leveraged funding” is C$15.18 million, SDTC says ($11.4 million U.S.).
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Source: Loop Energy with Fleets & Fuels follow-up