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SoCalGas and Ford join forces to develop the F-550 super duty HFCEV truck

F-550 Super Duty Electric Truck (Source: Ford)

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has announced it is working with Ford Motor Company on a demonstration project to reduce commercial fleet emissions by developing an F-550 Super Duty Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Truck.

This collaboration is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SuperTruck 3 program, which aims to significantly reduce emissions in medium and heavy-duty trucks. The utility's participation is another step toward its ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals by working to replace 50 percent of its over-the-road fleet with clean fuel vehicles by 2025 and operate a 100 percent zero-emission fleet by 2035.

Ford will provide SoCalGas with an F-550 Super Duty Truck to evaluate the prototype truck's performance under real-world conditions. SoCalGas was chosen to evaluate how the truck can meet the rigorous demands of utility work because of its climate and geographical location. The demonstration project will also include a temporary hydrogen refueling station at SoCalGas' Bakersfield facility. The truck is expected to deploy in 2025.

This project represents a unique opportunity to decarbonize large fleets like utilities that require long ranges, fast refueling, onboard power needs, and 24/7 emergency response.

"The companies that drive our economy and especially our transportation sector must collaborate on developing innovative technologies as we make the transition to a cleaner tomorrow," said State Senator Josh Newman.

"This groundbreaking project will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, but it also offers promise toward tackling America's current energy challenges."

"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."

"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."

SoCalGas will continue to work with partners on research, development, and demonstration projects in the areas of clean fuels, hydrogen technology, and infrastructure.

Already, SoCalGas' fleet includes 50 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs), making the company among the first utilities in the nation to start transitioning to hydrogen-powered vehicles. More recently, SoCalGas announced plans to install 1,500 electric vehicle chargers at 67 company facilities by end of 2024. Currently, a third of SoCalGas' over-the-road fleet operates on clean fuels. 

Author : Moulin Oza
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