Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Trucks Already Outcompeting Their Battery-Electric Counterparts
Well over 800 thousand hydrogen fuel cell commercial trucks will be sold by 2035, according to a study by Information Trends. These include both heavy duty as well as light and medium duty trucks.
The study, Global Market for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Commercial Trucks, 2021 says that hydrogen fuel cell technology gives trucks much higher range than battery-electric trucks, while offering rapid fueling. Because of this, heavy-duty fuel cell trucks are already outcompeting heavy-duty battery-electric trucks, particular for long-haul routes.
Heavy-duty trucks will continue to dominate the market for hydrogen fuel cell trucks, said Naqi Jaffery, President and CEO of Information Trends. There is a particular industry interest in transitioning heavy-duty trucks to zero-emission rapidly because these trucks are the biggest contributors to carbon emissions on roadways.
Until the second half of 2020’s, battery-electric trucks will remain competitive for medium sized hydrogen fuel cell trucks, Mr. Jaffery said. Battery-electric trucks will become less competitive as more hydrogen stations are built and as the prices of medium-sized hydrogen trucks fall.
Smaller battery-electric trucks will have an edge over hydrogen fuel cell trucks until early thirties, Mr. Jaffery said. Smaller battery-electric trucks will lose that edge as fuel cell trucks hit lower price points and as the hydrogen stations become more pervasive.
The biggest impediment to the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell trucks so far has been the cost of these vehicles, the Information Trends study said. However, several factors have converged to bring the prices of these trucks down.
According to the study, two factors give these trucks a significant advantage over battery-electric trucks. Firstly, these vehicles are lighter than battery-electric vehicles, making them better suited to carry heavy cargo. Secondly, these trucks travel much longer distances than battery-electric vehicles, making them well equipped for long-haul transportation.