Plug Power, Lightning Team On Fuel Cell Truck

By Mike Brezonick20 February 2020

Plug Power Inc., a global provider of hydrogen power systems and fueling solutions, has announced a partnership with Colorado-based Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero-emission drivetrains, though which the companies will develop fuel cell-powered Class 6 trucks (up to 12.5 tons) capable of supporting middle-mile delivery logistics between warehouses and distribution centers.

The zero-emission commercial trucks produced by the partnership will be powered by an integrated hybrid-electric drivetrain consisting of Plug Power’s ProGen fuel cells coupled with Lightning Systems’ electric vehicle drivetrain and batteries. Lightning Systems will also offer customers advanced diagnostics and analytics powered by its artificial neural network technology. This technology is designed to enable customers to easily track vehicle and fuel cell system data for analysis, driver training and route optimization.

Final production and testing of the new vehicles will be completed at Plug Power’s headquarters in Latham, N.Y., before they are made commercially available to the public in the third quarter of 2020.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lightning Systems to expand our ProGen offerings with a new Class 6 trucking solution,” says Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh. “This partnership allows us to meet our customers’ needs at every stage of their journey from fuel cell-powered forklifts on the warehouse floor to last-mile delivery and now middle-mile delivery between distribution centers as well. We’re proud to say that we now offer sustainable solutions for every link in the global supply chain.”

Plug Power and Lightning Systems will deliver both standard and long-range Class 6 trucks through the partnership. Plug Power’s ProGen fuel cells provide 90 kW of power and utilize the latest generation of the company’s proprietary MEA and metal plate stack technology. The standard vehicle offering includes 20 kg of onboard hydrogen storage, delivering average range (for typical route profiles) in excess of 200 miles, the companies said. An extended range option is also available, effectively doubling the standard average range to 400 miles.

“Lightning’s modular powertrains were designed to support both battery-electric and fuel cell-electric vehicle configurations, so this is a natural next product for us,” said Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems. “Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cell system dovetails elegantly with our existing technology.”

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