California plans to become carbon neutral by 2045. One of its viable options is the development of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) that provide fast fueling and range similar to that of diesel trucks.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is looking into the technology and plans to provide a 2-million dollar grant to Symbio. Symbio is a joint venture between Faurecia and Michelin. The firm will design a class 8 fuel cell electric vehicle under the project “Symbio H2 Central Valley Express” with the goal of providing hydrogen mobility that can perform like a 15 L diesel truck.
The project will receive project management, technical training, and grant support from GTI and Fleet operation services from Total Transportation Services (TTSI). The work will start in late 2023.
A customized Freightliner Cascadia truck will cover a 400-mile route between Northern San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire for one full year. The region already has hydrogen infrastructure from Trillium, Shell, and Air Liquide.
Symbio is tasked with developing and integrating the powertrain of the truck with its fuel cell stack technology called StackPack. This will work with the hydrogen storage system provided by Faurecia. Low resistance Michelin Tires will be used to improve the vehicle’s range.
Currently, 4th generation fuel-cell technology is ready for use in commercial vehicles. Symbio is already shipping some of it to Europe in partnership with Citroen, Opel, Stellantis, and Peugeot utility vans.
Symbio was in operation before it became a joint venture in 2019. One of the company’s major advantages is the consolidation of components.