Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology in trucks and cars; could it be coming to CT?

(WTNH) – Connecticut is competing to get a hydrogen hub. Like a gas station, hydrogen stations fuel up cars and trucks.

Clean air technology is here, but it isn’t as widely available as electric cars. State officials have passed laws to use this technology, but getting it here has been a long haul.

Did you know a tractor-trailer can run on zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells?

Danny Gamboa a truck driver for Toyota explains, “it has more power and more torque.” No smokey stacks pollute the air, and much like a battery-powered car, the hum is quiet.

Ricky Morning Sr. another truck driver is sold. “It’s good for the environment. It’s safe.”

Robert Wimmer from Toyota shows us how technology works.

“It’s a 125-kilowatt fuel cell that takes oxygen from the air, combines it with hydrogen that we store onboard the vehicle to generate electricity And the only exhaust emission is water vapor,” Wimmer said.

It refuels in three to 5 minutes. Hydrogen is $32 per kilogram and the tank holds 7-kilograms, so $224 for a full tank, but you can drive 400-miles on a single fill-up.

The tank is reinforced in case there’s an accident.

Connecticut recently passed the Clean Air Act. Our state will have the same zero-emission standards by 2030 as California, where these vehicles are exclusively sold.

President Rademka Maric from UCONN says meeting those standards will involve more than hydrogen fuel cells.

“Alternatives are going to be a mixed portfolio. It will be an electric car, it will be a fuel cell car, it will be offshore wind, it will be solar and integration of the technologies,” Maric said.

This truck is a prototype and won’t be available to companies until next year. It’s so new the cost hasn’t even been established.

Governor Ned Lamont took a spin in the truck.

“This is looking ahead and this is what’s going to be required in many states around the country in the coming years is zero-emission truck technology,” added Wimmer.

He says the way you bring down price is volume.

The car sells for $55,000, but there is a federal credit of $9,000 and a new state credit of $ 5,000.

Meantime, the state is in a race to get a second round of federal infrastructure money to build out a hydrogen hub.

One of the biggest obstacles in all of these hydrogen refueling stations. There’s only one in Connecticut, one in Rhode Island, one in New York, and two in Massachusetts.

The state hopes to get some of that federal infrastructure money in round two to build all of this out.

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