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Hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 truck enters port duty

Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) has taken delivery of a “zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 truck,” as part of a plan to purchase 100 of the vehicles from Vision Industries Corp.

Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) has taken delivery of a “zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 truck,” as part of a plan to purchase 100 of the vehicles from Vision Industries Corp.

TTSI plans to use the truck to shuttle freight containers from port terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to rail yards and other distribution facilities in the area.

“Today we celebrate the birthplace of the hydrogen economy and zero-emission transportation,” said Martin Schuermann, CEO of Vision Industries. “This partnership between the ports and private industry has brought tangible results that will lead to cleaner air and green jobs in California.”

TTSI is a national asset-based logistics provider. The effort is part of the Ports' Technology Advancement Program, which aims to encourage the commercialization of clean goods-movement vehicles and equipment.

TTSI will operate the Vision truck—which is trademarked as the Tyrano (and built off a Freightliner model) under typical short-haul conditions at the ports for the next six months. The electric truck uses a battery recharged by a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electricity from a reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. There is no combustion and no air pollution, pointed out Vision, and “pure H20 is the only byproduct.”

Powered by a 536-hp. engine creating 3,300 lbs.-ft. of torque, Vision calls the Tyrano “the superior drayage vehicle.” The company said that with standard H2 fuel tank configuration, the truck can cover 200 mi. - 400 mi. with an extended configuration - over an eight-hour work shift, while emitting no carbon, no carcinogenic particulates and no noise pollution.

“Above and beyond the benefit of zero emissions, we at TTSI believe that hydrogen fuel is the only true way to break our dependence on imported fuel,” said Vic La Rosa, TTSI president. “Hydrogen is the most abundant resource on the planet.”

Back in 2008, eight Kenworth T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks operated by TTSI became the first alternative-fueled vehicles to operate in full-time drayage service at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“I’m very pleased that the ports can play a role in developing and testing this new technology through our Technology Advancement Program,” said Susan E. Anderson Wise, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commission president. “This is a promising and exciting new technology. We’re all looking forward to seeing how it performs on the docks.”

“Success requires collaboration, and that’s what you see here today between the ports, private industry and government agencies,” said David Arian, vice president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “This is not pie-in-the-sky technology. It’s rubber to the road and we’re moving forward.”

Upon successful testing, Vision said TTSI plans to move forward with a Letter of Intent for the purchase of 100 vehicles at a purchase price of approximately $27 million. The Letter of Intent also gives TTSI the option to purchase an additional 300 trucks, bringing the total contract value to approximately $108 million.

TTSI, based in Rancho Dominguez, CA, operates full-service drayage, rail service and warehousing for full container and LCL Shipments from the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Diego, Norfolk, and Seattle/Tacoma

Vision Industries is a developer of zero- emission electric/hydrogen hybrid powered vehicles and turnkey hydrogen fueling systems. Vision noted that its proprietary electric/hydrogen hybrid drive system “combines the superior acceleration of a battery-powered electric vehicle with the extended range provided by a hydrogen fuel cell.”

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