04.06.2022 was an exciting day in Sacramento, California thanks to the California Fuel Cell Partnership hosting a “Hydrogen Village Day.” The event was attended by many of the leading companies in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry including Bloom Energy, Hyundai, Hyzon, Symbio, and Toyota.
However, there were a couple of pleasant surprises, the first of which was Hyperion Motors attendance with its XP-1 (pictured below). Hyperion confirmed to your correspondent that it is still expecting the driving range of the vehicle to be 1,000 miles, and it is slated for a 2023 release. The XP-1 was quite the buzz, especially when California State Senator Bob Archuleta spent about 15 minutes getting a personal introduction to the car by Hyperion’s CEO Angelo Kafantaris.
Speaking of Mr. Archuleta, you can click on the below video to see him speaking at the event.
State senator Dave Min also spoke at the event and you can see part of his speech in the below video.
Another surprise was seeing UPS show up with one of its fuel cell delivery vehicles (pictured below). UPS says it is on track later this year to deploy four such vehicles to Sacramento in its first real-world test with the vehicles.
A new firm H2 For Future run by Greg and Bobbie Cane also presented at the hydrogen village. The goal of the organization is to provide tours in a Toyota Mirai (pictured below) of all nine national parks in California. The goal is to contrast the impacts of climate change with the positive transformative possibilities that hydrogen fuel cell technology offers humanity.
Hydroplane used the Hydrogen Village event to help breakout of stealth mode. The firm has developed fuel cells for use in aviation, and it is hoping to get them into the hands of customers over the coming years. For the foreseeable future Hydroplane will focus on building the fuel cell stacks and selling them to airplane manufacturers.
Hyundai and Hyzon each brought a class-8 truck to the Hydrogen Village (pictured below), and presented the most compelling heavy-duty trucking products at the event. Both trucks were actual vehicles that are presently being driven on real-world streets instead of being limited to test tracks. Nikola was also in attendance, but it did not have any FCEV products on hand to show what progress it has made towards building real-life FCEVs.
One point that was made both by industry professionals and members of government is that a zero emission global economy is not going to be realized through the use of one technology. Even in mobility we will continue to need multiple forms of power sources given the global nature of the emission course correction that humanity is working on. However, it was also acknowledged that hydrogen fuel cell technology is the keystone in being able to realize a practical zero emission economy given the limitations of batteries and other current technologies.
The Hydrogen Village was a clear testament that fuel cells are not a future technology, it is instead ready to go today. Given Russia’s war on Ukraine and the cruel choices that countries relying on petroleum face every single day, it is imperative that the hydrogen and fuel cell industry continue to engage in public outreach events like yesterday’s Hydrogen Village. It is only by educating, engaging, and continuing to pursue a zero emission global economy that future generations will be able to see a world freed from the destruction and oppression of fossil fuels.
Jesse Lyon, Contributor