ABBOTSFORD – The government of British Columbia says a $16.5 million pilot program that uses hydrogen to power commercial trucking will help accelerate B.C.’s transition to a clean economy and create new opportunities for people and businesses.
The B.C. Pilot Hydrogen Truck Project has been set up to boost the use of hydrogen in the commercial transportation sector. Currently, more than 50 per cent of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell companies are located in British Columbia, with the province accounting for nearly 60 per cent of research investment in hydrogen and fuel-cell development.
“B.C. is already leading Canada in the switch to zero-emission vehicles for personal transportation, with a record number of British Columbians choosing to go electric,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Today’s announcement will kick start the use of hydrogen-powered trucks for commercial transportation across the province, helping to get businesses off fossil fuels and build a clean economy.”
British Columbia-based hydrogen-energy company HTEC will procure six different heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks and complete upgrades to a hydrogen-fuelling station in Tsawwassen and a maintenance facility in Abbotsford.
Colin Armstrong, president and CEO of HTEC, said: “Through the Province’s significant investment in zero-emission trucks in B.C., and the simultaneous development of robust infrastructure to enhance their operations, this pilot project symbolizes a remarkable leap toward a sustainable future.” Armstrong adds “It marks the first-ever deployment of heavy-duty hydrogen fuel-cell electric trucks for a diverse range of fleet operators in the province, a historic moment for the trucking industry.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said hydrogen-powered heavy duty-trucks are a key part of the B.C. government’s climate plan. “We launched Canada’s first hydrogen policy in 2021 and this news shows how we can be successful in using clean hydrogen to decarbonize trucking fleets and fight climate change.”
Hydrogen is a leading solution for reducing pollution in the commercial transportation sector where there are few options available. Hydrogen-powered trucks do not produce any harmful emissions and have advantages over battery-electric trucks because they have longer range, faster refuelling and more power to pull larger payloads. At this time, the commercial transportation sector accounts for roughly 25 per cent of B.C.’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The Province’s funding for the pilot is being administered by the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund.