Thank you for your interest in AMTA’s Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstration Program.

Alberta-based commercial carriers will have the opportunity to test commercial vehicles that operate with alternative, energy-efficient fuels within their regular business operations. Through this project, AMTA – in collaboration with its project partners – will lead Canada’s first heavy-duty alternative fuel demonstrations.

FAQs

About the project

Starting in fall 2022, AMTA will oversee the Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstration project – the first of its kind in Canada. Through this venture, and in collaboration with its project partners, AMTA will offer carriers opportunities to use and test – within their own operations – Class 8 vehicles that operate with hydrogen fuel. These trials will look at the performance of hydrogen-fueled vehicles on Alberta roads, payloads, and weather conditions and will address challenges around fuel cell reliability, infrastructure, and vehicle cost and maintenance.

As modern technologies continue to evolve, our industry must adapt and adjust accordingly. The need to keep pace with innovative technologies in the commercial transportation industry requires a collaborative approach.

AMTA works closely with a broad range of stakeholders – including our valued members, industry, all three levels of government, project partners, and the community – to identify and research critical and emerging opportunities that support the commercial transportation sector; we collaborate to propose and implement data-driven solutions that meet the needs and challenges of our industry and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

AMTA is pleased to introduce this innovative technology to our carriers in a low-risk and cost-effective way. The project will help Canada reach its 2030 net-zero goals and will support the widespread adoption of zero-emission commercial vehicles.

Demonstrations are expected to begin in fall 2022.

Please use this application form to express your interest in the Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstration.

Please note: Submitting this application does not guarantee approval in the program. AMTA will review all applications to ensure eligibility. Limited spaces available.

The heavy-duty commercial (freight) transportation sector is one of Canada’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada and Alberta, accounting for approximately 25% of all emissions. About 35% of those – 65.4 Mt of carbon dioxide – come from heavy-duty trucks. Recognizing this, the industry must accept and embrace its joint responsibility to find ways to reduce GHGs, working together to help Canada reach its 2030 net-zero-emission goals (Canada’s zero-emission vehicles policy sales targets of 10% by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2050).

Such efforts will not only promote the long-term sustainability of the commercial transportation industry but also help to build a greener future for all.

Hydrogen fuel-cell electric technology harnesses a safe, clean, and reliable fuel source. Emissions reduction and improved performance will be the catalyst for a new, robust, and thriving hydrogen economy for Albertans.

By participating in the Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstrations, carriers will:

  • Be the first to test this emerging clean technology
  • Receive free hydrogen training
  • Receive a GHG reduction report

There is no cost* to eligible and approved carriers to participate in this trial. Funding for this project is sourced through federal grants provided by Natural Resources Canada and Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan).

* Additional insurance may be required. Estimated fuel costs for applicable fleet trials are to be reflected at the current price of gas/ diesel at the time of vehicle use.

Each driver will be required to complete both online and in-person training. There is no cost to approved drivers to take this training. Course topics include, but will not be limited to:

  • Hydrogen Basics
    • Hydrogen properties, production, and storage
    • Hydrogen as an alternative fuel
    • Hydrogen Safety
  •       Safe Operation of Hydrogen Commercial Vehicles
    • Hydrogen Vehicle Safety
    • Detecting a Hydrogen Leak
    • How to respond effectively in case of an accident
  •  Vehicle Orientation
    • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
    • Hydrogen Diesel Dual Fuel Vehicles

Driving Force will manage short-term rental agreements and vehicle fueling schedules and control maintenance planning.

Each fleet participating in the demonstrations must identify its designated driver(s).

Fleets will be responsible to ensure that all driver(s) selected complete mandatory training, possess a clean driver’s abstract, a minimum of 10 years’ commercial driving experience, and demonstrate driver excellence.

  • Weight restrictions (maximum GVW)
  • Routes and return-to-base locations
  • Transportation of dangerous goods
  • Site-safety protocols
  • Business liability and disruption insurance coverage

Suncor Energy will provide the fueling infrastructure – including hydrogen production, conditioning, distribution, and dispensing. Hydrogen will be generated, purified, and compressed at the Suncor refinery in Edmonton before being transported to a refueling depot across the street for dispensing into the hydrogen-fueled commercial trucks. Suncor is working with Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation (HTEC) to provide the equipment required to support fueling operations. The hydrogen fuel is produced in Alberta using natural gas and leveraging existing infrastructure at the refinery. Future operations will incorporate lower carbon intensity (CI) fuel.

Edmonton Region:
Suncor Energy Terminal
801 Petroleum Way | Sherwood Park, AB

Calgary Region
Petro-Canada Cardlock
2600 Country Hills Blvd. NE | Calgary, AB

Alternate fueling sites will be updated as identified.

Carriers will be introduced to this innovative technology in a low-risk way; they will learn how hydrogen can benefit day-to-day business operations. Commercial drivers will gain knowledge and experience in sustainable vehicle technologies, fuel, safety, and other operational and environmental efficiencies.

Additional benefits include:

  • Increased public awareness about zero emissions and the benefits of using low- to zero-emission vehicles.
  • Reduced risks associated with hydrogen adoption.
  • Highlight hydrogen to government, industry, stakeholders, and the community.
  • Support Canada’s clean energy transition and advance its hydrogen economy.
  • Provide meaningful data that can be used to develop and advance policies and regulations.
  • Economic development
    • Spur foreign investment
    • New job creation
    • Help alleviate driver shortages by attracting/retaining quality people to the industry
    • Create and promote careers in commercial transportation
  • Enhance vehicle performance
    • Torque and acceleration
    • Extended driving range
    • Lower maintenance costs
    • Similar fueling process (to diesel)
  • Fleet operators can objectively evaluate the costs and savings associated with converting traditional diesel operations to hydrogen
  • ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) reporting will place your fleet in a position to show results on how your company strives to protect the environment, address social causes, and otherwise conducts itself responsibly.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but it does not typically appear in isolation. It can be found in water, fossil fuels, or biomass. To extract hydrogen, processes such as electrolysis or steam methane reforming are used. By investing in a portfolio of non-combustion hydrogen production technologies, including steam reformers and electrolyzers, commercial vehicle developers transform various types of feedstocks into hydrogen with low-to-negative carbon intensity. (1)

Sources:

  1. Hyzon Motors

In commercial vehicles, hydrogen is used as a source of fuel, held in specially made tanks. Hydrogen from the tanks is then funneled into the fuel cell system, where it combines with air to generate electricity that powers vehicles with zero emissions. (1)

Yes, hydrogen is safe; however, it is fuel, and all fuels can be hazardous. When fed into a fuel cell, hydrogen can power vehicles and trucks without releasing harmful emissions. Hydrogen-specific dangers include leaks and flammability. Hydrogen is much safer than gasoline; several of its properties make it safe to manage and use. Primarily, hydrogen is non-toxic, meaning that any leaks or spills will not contaminate the environment. Moreover, when released, hydrogen disperses extremely quickly, greatly reducing the risk of accidental ignition unlike vapors from gasoline or propane. (1)

The major safety issue is losing containment of hydrogen; as a gas, it is stored under high pressure that could injure nearby personnel and, as a cryogen, it could cause injuries such as frostbite.

Hydrogen vehicles and storage systems are manufactured to minimum safety standards.

All safety precautions for vehicles and refueling are per hydrogen-specific codes.

Sources:

  1. Hyzon Motors

A hydrogen fuel cell is made up of layers through which hydrogen and oxygen are funneled to produce electricity. Each fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) has many of these layers — the accumulation of which is called the fuel cell stack. (1)

Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to power an electric motor. Unlike conventional vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel, fuel cell vehicles combine hydrogen and oxygen within a fuel cell to produce electricity, which is directed into the electric motor and/or the battery, as needed. Fuel cell vehicles have a long-range, are easy to refuel, are practically silent, and only emit water vapor. (1)

Commercial vehicles eliminate carbon emissions that are harmful to our environment, our community, and our drivers. On the contrary, hydrogen commercial vehicles emit only water vapour. The use of energy-dense hydrogen means commercial vehicles have the power, range, payload, and refueling time typical of diesel trucks — all while maintaining zero-emission technology. (1)

Hydrogen-powered vehicles emit nothing but water vapour; therefore, FCEV and dual–fuel vehicles significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

In Canada, 481,482 Class 8 trucks consume approximately 30.1 billion litres of diesel per year. Converting vehicles to run fully or partially on hydrogen will reduce the CO2 emissions of each vehicle by 40% to 100%. (2)

Yes, hydrogen injection systems help operators optimize truck and bus performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions reduction regardless of payload and weather. Unlike electric vehicles that need to keep the battery warm, no additional equipment is required for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Hydrogen remains a gas at temperatures down to -252.9 C, meaning there is no risk of freezing. If the pressure in the storage tanks increases beyond acceptable levels, due to hydrogen expansion from temperature, the pressure release devices open venting excess hydrogen to maintain safe operating pressure. (2)

At this time, hydrogen technology is more expensive, but as market demand continues to grow, we are confident that these costs will decrease. The federal government recently announced the incentives, Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emissions Vehicle (iMHZEV) program that will provide carriers up to a maximum of $1,000,000 in cash-back incentives for early adoption of zero-emissions commercial vehicle technology.

Canada is internationally renowned as among the world’s lowest-cost places to make hydrogen with exceptionally low (GHG) emissions. Diesel has fueled freight transport for more than one hundred years, but H2 fueling times are comparable to diesel-powered equipment. Alberta can make blue hydrogen at about half of the wholesale cost of diesel energy, and about one-third of the retail cost. The AMTA Hydrogen Commercial Vehicle Demonstration project will examine the total cost of ownership (TCO) to determine both the timeline and inputs needed for FCEV to be economically competitive with conventional combustion engines. (2)