Powering Emergency Relief Vehicles with Hydrogen

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security partnered with Accelera by Cummins Inc. to develop a hydrogen-powered emergency relief vehicle. The result is H2 Rescue, a Class 7 truck that runs on hydrogen fuel cells and serves as a mobile generator that can power up to 20 homes for 72 hours.

The truck can drive 180 miles and carry up to 176 kilograms of hydrogen at 700 bar. It includes a generator system powered by an electric drivetrain, hydrogen fuel cells, and hydrogen storage system that utilizes lithium-ion battery packs. Since the truck is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, it has zero emissions at the tailpipe and operates much quieter than fossil fuel-powered generators.

H2Rescue marks an exciting development in emergency relief efforts. It showcases hydrogen’s ability to provide reliable fuel for vehicles as well as generators. This would allow emergency relief efforts to provide power to homes and communities that need it without negatively impacting the air quality or causing increased noise levels that could interfere with nearby emergency response communications.

At OneH2, we are thrilled to see continued investment in research and development of new hydrogen fuel applications. These efforts align with our goals of increasing access to hydrogen fuel and developing a nationwide hydrogen fuel infrastructure. If additional funding were allocated to the development of H2Rescue or similar emergency relief vehicles, these vehicles could benefit from OneH2’s delivered hydrogen program which could potentially extend the trucks’ capacity from 72 hours of power indefinitely.