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DOE issues request for information on medium- and heavy-duty fuel cell electric truck targets


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Green Car Congress  /  June 10, 2016

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) has issued a request for information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0001600) to obtain feedback and opinions from truck operators, truck and storage tank manufacturers, fuel cell manufacturers, station equipment designers, and other related stakeholders on issues related to medium- and heavy-duty (MD and HD) fuel cell electric truck targets.

The MD/HD market spans multiple weight classes (i.e. class 3-8 or 10,000-80,000+ lbs.) and vocational uses (i.e. delivery van, tractor trailer, flatbed, etc.). Today, MD/HD trucks account for 28% of petroleum use in the US transportation sector, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A key activity within FCTO, with industry input, is setting technology targets for future years (e.g., 2020) based on what is required to be competitive with incumbent or other advanced technologies. These can then be used by stakeholders to help track performance and set technology benchmarks. Currently, FCTO has targets in several areas, including hydrogen production, delivery, storage, and fuel cells for light-duty vehicles.

FCTO developed a set of basic vehicle specification by Class and by vocational application, rangin from a Class 2 Van (135 kW motor continuous power, 155 kW fuel cell power with 7 kh H2 stored on board and a range of 150 miles) to a Class 8 Tractor Trailer (260 kW motor continuous power, 265 kW fuel cell power, 62 kg H2 onboard and a range of 400 miles.

FCTO set fuel economy targets for each weight class to reduce the confusion of one normalized target that would span all weight classes. Power system cost is normalized based on the fuel cell stack size required for each vehicle. The vehicle range target suggested is comparable to light duty vehicles at 300 miles, however, some truck designs may require more or less range depending on vocational use. Lifetime targets and maintenance costs suggested are based on fuel cell bus targets.

Proposed targets for the fuel cell trucks are:


Proposed Fuel Economy Target (miles/kg H2) for 2025

Class 3

Class 4

Class 5

Class 6

Class 7

Class 8










Proposed 2025 Targets for MD/HD Fuel Cell Electric Trucks, Class 3 - Class 8

Vehicle operation






Vehicle Lifetime [years/miles]







Power Plant Lifetime [hours]







Power System Cost [$/kW]







Scheduled and Unscheduled Maintenance Cost5 [$/mile]







Vehicle Range [miles]







Fuel cell system






FC System Power Density [W/L]







FC System Specific Power [W/kg]







Hydrogen storage






Storage Tank Gravimetric Capacity [kg H2/kg storage tank]







Storage Tank Volumetric Capacity [kg H2/100 L] 700 bar/350 bar







Hydrogen Storage System Cost [$/kg H2 stored]







Operation Cycle Life (1/4 tank to full) [cycles]







System Fill Rate [kg H2/min]








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