Ford is testing a prototype hydrogen fuel cell version of its F-550 Super Duty by partnering with SoCalGas, a utility company based in Los Angeles. The project is part of the company’s plans to replace 50% of its over-the-road fleet with clean fuel vehicles by 2025, and operate a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2035. The utility company was chosen to evaluate the truck based on its geographical location and climate and will deploy the truck into duty in 2025.
Ford F-550 Super Duty Testing With Hydrogen Power
The aim of the project is to reduce commercial fleet emissions. SoCalGas already has 50 hydrogen fuel cells in its fleet, and is one of the first utilities in the nation to do so. The next step for the company is to install 1,500 electric vehicle chargers at 67 company facilities by end of 2024.
“Ford’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions across the globe includes investigating multiple technologies that will help us achieve these goals across a broad spectrum of applications,” said Jim Buczkowski, executive director, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “For our wide spectrum of Ford Pro customers, there are application gaps that battery electric vehicles just can’t fulfill yet, so we’re looking at hydrogen fuel cells to power larger, heavier commercial vehicles while still delivering zero tailpipe emissions.”
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles appear to be a hopeful solution for large vehicle commercial fleets, as long ranges, fast refueling, onboard power needs, and 24/7 emergency response are required.
“We are honored to work with Ford on their strategy to help reduce emissions,” said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas. “This project is a critical step toward finding real-world solutions to decarbonize heavy duty transportation such as our utility fleet with Ford’s H2 Fuel Cell Electric F-550.”
If the project is successful, it will be a huge step forward for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck 3 program, the aim of which is to reduce emissions in medium and heavy-duty trucks significantly.