The US Department of Energy (DoE) is setting aside $7m of funding for investing in hydrogen fuel cell technologies relating to a vehicle refueling infrastructure.
The first of the three projects receiving funding is The Centre for Transportation and the Environment, based in Atlanta, which is set to receive $3m for the development of a fuel cell hybrid electric delivery van with a 150-mile range.
As part of the project, The Centre will retrofit 15 UPS delivery vans with fuel cell hybrid powertrains that will be tested across California.
FedEx Express, based in Memphis, will receive $3m to develop a hydrogen fuel cell delivery truck, also with a range of up to 150 miles. There will be 20 test trucks at FedEx facilities in Tennessee and California. Plug Power and Smith Electric Vehicles will join FedEx in this project.
The third is Air Products and Chemicals Inc., located in Pennsylvania, that will receive $0.9m to develop a cost-effective tube trailer for hydrogen delivery and storage that can withstand high pressures. This will be tested at hydrogen fueling stations in Southern California.
This relatively small investment will assist the companies, but does not show a serious commitment to promote hydrogen for transport systems in the US.