Kalmar in new project to develop fuel cell terminal tractors


Kalmar, part of Cargotec, is collaborating with Toyota Tsusho America Inc., headquartered in New York, and global strategic environmental engineering consultancy Ricardo in a project to develop fuel cell powered terminal tractors.

As part of the project, a Kalmar customer in the USA will trial two Kalmar Ottawa Terminal Tractors powered by fuel cell technology at their container terminal on the west coast.

Fuel cell technologies are emerging as a viable alternative to batteries for zero-emission vehicle solutions. The Advanced Clean Truck requirement, adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2020, requires truck manufacturers to shift away from fossil fuels to zero-emission technology.

Beginning in 2024, manufacturers must increase their zero-emission truck sales to between 30 and 50 per cent by 2030 and between 40 and 75 per cent by 2035.

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Ricardo plc, headquartered in the UK, is responsible for the design, integration and assembly of the fuel cells into the Kalmar Ottawa platform.

Compared to battery-powered solutions, fuel cell powered terminal tractors will offer Kalmar customers extended operational uptime and reduce the need for new investments in electrical grid infrastructure.

Chris Dvorak, Director of Engineering, Kalmar, said: “We are applying the learnings we have gained from our battery-electric platform to implement a modular fuel cell platform that will help customers meet increasingly strict emissions targets.

“This is in line with our terminal tractor roadmap and supports Cargotec’s 1.5°C climate ambition. As part of this effort, we are partnering with leaders in the fuel cell space to demonstrate the feasibility of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for terminal tractor applications.”

Adrian Schaffer, President of Emerging Mobility, Ricardo, added: “We have worked alongside Kalmar and Toyota Tsusho America Inc. to undertake the initial stages of this exciting project. Applying our experience and design expertise in fuel cell systems and integration, we have integrated a commercially available fuel cell system that will deliver cleaner and more efficient propulsion for the Kalmar terminal tractor chassis.

“This project is the latest example of Ricardo supporting customers to decarbonise transportation, and we are very much looking forward to progressing to the next stage.”

Koji Nakagawa, Vice President, Toyota Tsusho America, Inc., said: “We are delighted that Kalmar has selected fuel cell technology for integration into its terminal tractor platform. We believe that zero-emission fuel cell technology offers a viable pathway forward for operators in the logistics space to achieve their emission-reduction targets.”

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