According to the Vancouver Sun, Loop Energy hopes to play a role in trucks by providing hydrogen fuel cells as part of hybrid hydrogen-electric drive trains in heavy-duty vehicles.
In March, the canadian start up, previously known as PowerDisc Development, won a $7.5-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada to support the commercialization of its fuel cells in zero-emission powertrains. And last week, the company signed a deal with Chinese transportation giant CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co. to test Loop’s prototype fuel cell in the drive train of a yard truck, one of the tractor-trailer vehicles used to move containers around port terminals and warehouses.
The power system to be developed for the initial project will combine Loop’s fuel cell technologies with CRRC’s leading electric drive train system to provide a better performing solution for heavyduty trucks in comparison to traditional diesel engines.
The fuel cells will be acting as portable battery chargers compared with the more typical fuel-cell vehicle where the cell replaces the internal combustion engine for a car or bus. “The advantage of the electric approach, says Ben Nyland, Loop Energy’s President, is that it is a fuel cell that doesn’t need to be big enough to supply the vehicle’s peak power needs, which makes the vehicles more cost competitive”.