Detroit’s NextEnergy to Manage Hydrogen Refueling Standardization

NextEnergy, a Detroit-based nonprofit technology accelerator, has announced it is the project manager of a new collaboration with the goal of standardizing hydrogen refueling in the heavy-duty vehicle segment.
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NextEnergy’s Alternative Energy Center in Detroit. // Courtesy of Ghafari
NextEnergy’s Alternative Energy Center in Detroit. // Courtesy of Ghafari

NextEnergy, a Detroit-based nonprofit technology accelerator, has announced it is the project manager of a new collaboration with the goal of standardizing hydrogen refueling in the heavy-duty vehicle segment.

The collaborators include the Hydrogen Heavy Duty Vehicle Industry Group and its members Air Liquide, Hyundai, Nel Hydrogen, Nikola Corp., Shell, and Toyota. That organization has signed agreements with Tatsuno Corp. and Transfer Oil S.p.A. to industrialize globally standard 70 MPa hydrogen heavy-duty vehicle high-flow (H70HF) fueling hardware components.

NextEnergy, which specializes in developing and managing partnerships that deploy energy and mobility technologies in real-world scenarios to accelerate commercialization, will oversee the initiative.

“NextEnergy is pleased to bring our energy, mobility, and management expertise to this transformational project,” says Jim Saber, CEO of NextEnergy.

The Industry Group was formed in February 2019 with the goal of addressing hydrogen fueling hardware challenges of achieving the fueling speeds that are needed for heavy-duty applications today. Other goals include testing and evaluating the hardware’s performance and standardizing the connector design to ensure adoptability throughout the world. This builds on the collaboration of the hydrogen industry that achieved a global standard fueling interface for light-duty fuel cell electric vehicles.

Tatsuno is designing and developing vehicle receptacle and dispenser nozzle and breakaway components, while Transfer Oil is leading the design and development of a hydrogen dispenser fueling hose.

The fueling hardware is anticipated to support average hydrogen fueling rates of 10kg/min, which is in line with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Technical Targets for Hydrogen-Fueled Long-Haul Tractor-Trailer Trucks. Testing is planned at an independent test facility and scheduled to begin later this year, with preliminary performance and safety results available in the first quarter of 2022.

“This effort is a prime example of industry competitors working together toward a common goal of decarbonization,” says Justin Ward, group manager of Toyota’s Fuel Cell Development Department. “Toyota is proud to be a member of this group and of the vision we share for a future where diesel trucks are replaced with zero emission hydrogen fuel cell electric technology.”

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