Hydrogen Strategy for Canada - Hydrogen in Trucking Working Group Workshop

Sep 27, 2022

Hydrogen Strategy for Canada - Hydrogen in Trucking Working Group Workshop

In the drive to meet zero-emissions targets set out by the Canadian government there has been a big push to start talking about alternate energy sources for heavy trucks. I was able to be part of a multi-day workshop to start understanding how to overcome the roadblocks that the trucking industry is going to have to overcome to become earth friendly. The workshop started with an overview of hydrogen and electrical supply and how Canada is very well positioned to supply itself with green options. In fact, Canada has been romanced by several countries who want to partner up for a slice of our hydrogen and electric supply. It is nice to see that we have a lucrative global position in western Canada that is prime to produce blue hydrogen. In addition to being a global provider, the government poised to provide incentives such as the zero-emissions trucking program (ZETP) with $75.8 million available to encourage investment in zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles on Canadian roads.

There has been a good amount of research and development put into the zero-emission drive and there were presenters from different parts of Canada and the world that are very interested in the prospects that western Canada holds. The workshop started at an overview of best practices already learned and moved to different manufacturers of EV and H2 products. There were discussions on the advantages and roadblocks of full electric and hydrogen models. The one clear theme was that there is going to be a movement to bridge products for class 8 power units. This will align with current configurations (ICE) that are closer to what the industry is familiar with before a full change to fuel cell units with electro drive wheels. A barrage of questions was asked about the safety of the fuel storage to the infrastructure of dispensing stations. I was impressed with amount of testing and thought that was put into the current models as well as utilizing designs from past energy sources.

Finally, it was disclosed that there was a testing program being rolled out in Alberta that will run for approximately one year to develop the groundwork for hydrogen powered on-highway equipment. The research from this will supply information on how hydrogen will perform in cold climates and in remote areas as well as the infrastructure needed to provide fuel supply and maintenance. This is crucial to the implementation of this technology in rural or limited access parts of the world. It was very exciting to see the support and investment of industry. It shows that there is a shift to reduce emissions in our environment and hopefully provide a cleaner world for future generations.

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