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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell will test hydrogen-fueled electric tractors next year as part of a pilot program.
Navistar International is manufacturing the vehicles, which are powered by fuel cubes made up of more than 300 hydrogen fuel cells. The system is manufactured by General Motors.
Navistar said it expects the vehicles to be commercially available in 2024. J.B. Hunt will use the vehicles on dedicated routes and report their performances, said Navistar CEO Persio Lisboa.
“J.B. Hunt is committed to delivering more while using less, and this new fully-integrated solution offers a prime opportunity to do that,” J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts said. “As we serve our customers and communities, the combination of hydrogen fuel cell technology and refueling capability will enable us to reduce emissions along with energy consumption, fulfilling our environmental sustainability commitment to our customers and the communities we serve. We are excited for the potential of this innovative business model and look forward to sharing our learnings from this pilot program with Navistar and its involved technical and infrastructure partners.”
The vehicles are expected to have a range of 500 miles and can be refueled in 15 minutes, Navistar said. Fueling services will be done by partner OneH2, of which Navistar has bought a minority ownership stake.
“Hydrogen fuel cells offer great promise for heavy duty trucks in applications requiring a higher density of energy, fast refueling and additional range,” Lisboa said. “We are excited to provide customers with added flexibility through a new hydrogen truck ecosystem that combines our vehicles with the hydrogen fuel cell technology of General Motors and the modular, mobile and scalable hydrogen production and fueling capabilities of OneH2. And we are very pleased that our valued customer J.B. Hunt has committed to utilize the solution on dedicated routes and to share key learnings.”