Demonstrating safe and reliable performance of hydrogen-powered terminal tractors in Zero Emissions for California Ports (ZECAP) project

GTI Energy and partners designed and assembled two new zero-emissions fuel cell-electric terminal tractors and assessed their operation in a demanding, real-world cargo-handling application at the Port of Los Angeles. Zero Emissions for California Ports (ZECAP) is a first-of-a-kind pilot project that verified the performance of heavy-duty terminal tractors (also called yard trucks) and evaluated their safety, reliability, efficiency, and ability to meet operational requirements and reduce cargo-handling equipment (CHE) emissions at the port. The yard trucks operated for 12 months, refilling at an onsite hydrogen fueling station. To maximize the time they are in service, quick refills are a critical factor.

This deployment of fuel cell-electric hybrid trucks delivered insightful information to validate their commercial viability. GTI Energy and Frontier Energy, with support from SoCalGas, collected data that demonstrated that fuel cell powered yard trucks are safe, reliable, and operationally preferrable to diesel equipment. This will guide the design of a next-generation fuel cell yard truck that is a step closer to commercialization and increase awareness of hydrogen as a viable clean energy source to stimulate adoption of other clean heavy-duty vehicles.

The ultimate goal is to replace all 1,000 diesel-powered yard trucks that operate at the Port of Los Angeles with zero emission vehicles, which will significantly improve air quality and reduce noise pollution for the people who live near the busy port.

With funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), other partners include TraPac, Capacity of Texas, BAE Systems, Ballard Power Systems, Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation (HTEC), Frontier Energy, and ZEN Clean Energy Solutions.

This $12 million project funded by California Air Resources Board is part of the California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment-particularly in disadvantaged communities.


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