Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of hydrogen engines and fuelling solutions enabling e-mobility, announced their partnership with Colorado-based Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero-emission drivetrains.
This collaboration enables both companies to offer the world’s first electric, fuel cell-powered Class 6 trucks (up to 12.5 tons) capable of supporting middle-mile delivery logistics between warehouses and distribution centres.
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 cell engines coupled with Lightning Systems’ electric vehicle drivetrain and batteries. As part of the company’s long-standing commitment to reliability, efficiency, and cost-saving solutions, Lightning Systems also will offer customers advanced diagnostics and analytics powered by its artificial neural network technology. This technology enables customers to easily track vehicle and fuel cell system data for analysis, driver training, and route optimisation.
Plug Power provides the world’s largest service and support network of certified fuel cell service technicians deployed throughout North America. Final production and testing of the new vehicles will be completed at Plug Power’s headquarters in Latham, New York, before they are made commercially available to the public in the third quarter of 2020.
Plug Power and Lightning Systems will deliver both standard and long-range Class 6 trucks through their partnership, taking full advantage of the value that fuel cells offer in commercial fleets where high utilisation, long range, fast fueling, and maximisation of cargo volume and payload are important. Plug Power’s ProGen engines provide 90 kW of fuel cell power and utilise the latest generation of the company’s proprietary MEA and metal plate stack technology, which delivers industry-leading power density. The standard vehicle offering includes an impressive 20kg of on-board hydrogen storage, delivering average range (for typical route profiles) in excess of 200 miles. An extended range option is also available, effectively doubling the standard average range to 400 miles.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Lightning Systems to expand our ProGen offerings with a new Class 6 trucking solution,” said 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.”
“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 for Lightning Systems. “Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cell system dovetails elegantly with our existing technology.”
Plug Power and Lightning Systems bring a wealth of experience in the material handling, logistics and trucking industries. The companies have spent a combined three decades servicing leading companies around the globe.