CHBC Development Specialist Report

CertifHy Guarantees of Origin for Hydrogen

Last month a CertifHy conference was held in Brussels, Belgium as the framework for the world’s first guarantees of origin scheme for hydrogen. The objectives of the CertifHy project are to assess the necessary market and regulatory conditions, develop the complete design and initiate a unique European framework for green hydrogen guarantees of origin. The project will be carried out in consultation with a broad range of relevant stakeholders from all over Europe, including hydrogen producers, traders and customers. Ultimately the CertifHy guarantee of origin scheme will facilitate the penetration of green hydrogen throughout Europe. Criteria document defined ‘green’ and ‘low carbon’ hydrogen. Hydrogen production devices have to be registered, not all are accepted. To date through the trail programs over 70,000 guarantees of origin for hydrogen (GO) have been issued. GO are made to inform the user of the guarantee of origin and footprint. To count the production, allocate them and count the amount used. The GO scheme is modeled after RECS and is made to avoid double counting and is agnostic of the end use. Is it not used to provide information about delivery or distribution or GHG reporting. The Life Cycle Assessment includes upstream emissions related to energy and raw material extraction production and transport. One SMR facility and three electrolyzers are pilot projects in different parts of Europe. GO issued and cancelled are up to a number of megawatts. The Colruyt pilot project has wind to gas with hydrogen used for 75 forklifts, trucks and passenger cars. Companies will pay a premium for green hydrogen to be able to credit and account for GHG deduction. The EU is looking at 15% penetration of hydrogen in the gas grid. Art 19 in RED (Renewable Energy Directive) revision provides guarantees of origin framework. Air Products is providing hydrogen to buses as part of JIVE in Germany, London. It uses liquid hydrogen for the Alstom trains and a forklift demonstration of two heavy forklift trucks at Daimler in Dusseldorf. Air Products is also involved in Nouryon CertifHy pilot with 200MW chlor-alkali electolysis with hydrogen as a byproduct at 2.2 tons of hydrogen per hour. 1.6GWh of CertiHy renewable H2 GOs issued to hydrogen used in transportation. Customers receiving GOs are wanting carbon reduction certificates.

Nikola World 2019 Report

On Tuesday, April 16th at WestWorld in Scottsdale, AZ, Nikola Motor Company attempted to put on the biggest show the hydrogen world has ever seen. In very “Tesla-esque” fashion, Trevor Milton put the world on notice with the unveiling of an electric wave runner, an electric four passenger off-road UTV, a militarized off-road UTV complete with drone and autonomous driving capabilities, the Nikola Tre European model semi-truck and what we were all waiting for…the Nikola Two, unveiled and introduced as “The most advanced semi-truck the world has ever seen. The first hydrogen production, Class 8 truck that can beat a diesel in every category.” The truck pulled out onto center stage from behind a two-piece enormous video screen that preluded it with very dramatic visuals of rural roads across bridges, through mountain ranges with music to match. All while over 2,000 people stood up with their cell phones in the air watching history being made, or so we hope…

Only a few pieces of information were given out on opening night, most of the details were unveiled on the second day with breakout sessions on the truck’s technology, the station build out and on the leasing structure. The interior of the truck is the most advanced semi-truck in the world by a mile, when sitting in the driver’s seat it feels like you’re driving a Tesla. There are no longer bulky mirrors hanging off the side but large rectangular screens in the corners of the cab showing the driver’s blind spots. The cab is even able to turn into a home theater when parked.

As for the station buildout, the pace will be 100 stations a year starting in 2022 and finishing in 2028 to total 700 across the United States. Each station will be about the size of a Loves truck center taking up 7-10 acres and will be complete with repair center and convenience store. The hydrogen will be produced onsite using Nel’s “tried and true” alkaline electrolysis technology from low cost solar, wind and grid power at a price of less than $0.04/kWh with a total capacity of 8,000kg of hydrogen per day, enough for 150 trucks and 200 cars. The stations will scale all the way up to 32T/day. It was stated that prices of renewable and grid electricity will be as low as $0.022/kWh by PPAs that are being negotiated. The price of Nikola’s hydrogen will be at parity with diesel by 2022, stating their price of hydrogen will be $6.00/kg or less. The first R&D station will be completed in 2020 and the first 8T/day station in 2021.

Nikola will be developing the first heavy-duty mobile hydrogen test station in the world for field testing and commissioning of new stations as well as further optimization of onboard hydrogen storage. The estimated refueling time is 10 minutes for a 60kg fill; the expected average fill, at a speed of 300 grams of hydrogen fueled per second. The Nikola Two will have a capacity of 80kg of 750bar hydrogen for a total range of 600 miles. The Nikola Tre (European model) will have a range of 500km with 60kg of total hydrogen capacity. The Tre will also come in electric-only with options of 500kWh, 750kWh or 1MW battery packs. Trevor stated he expects 80% of orders globally to be hydrogen and 20% electric-only.

Interestingly enough, and as if Nikola didn’t have enough on its plate, a $16 million hydrogen and fuel cell development and testing center will be built in Chandler, AZ. This facility will have over 30 battery and fuel cell test stands, an environmental chamber capable of simulating the hottest and coldest temperatures on earth and a truck dynamometer. Nikola’s first fleet customer will be Anheuser-Busch who will be using prototype trucks to start as the testing and proving grounds for Nikola and Ryder.

Nikola will also be performing field testing with a customer in California including a planned hydrogen station.

The business model Nikola is advertising is the all-inclusive lease with maintenance and fuel included. The Nikola Two will be leased for $0.95/mi (range from $0.85-$1.10/mi) with a minimum number of miles required over a period of 7 years. The typical number of miles driven per year is for long haul trucks is 90-200k miles. Nikola will sell the truck outright to anyone who wants it but as a bundle with maintenance and fuel. The maintenance will be taken care of by Ryder with Nikola reimbursing Ryder directly. The Nikola Two will be offered with three levels of maintenance and service packages which can include preventative maintenance at the customer’s location. When trucks are in service, replacement vehicles will be made available; diesel replacements to start then hydrogen replacements as Nikola scales up production. Scale up will begin late 2022 into early 2023 with a build up to a full capacity of 35,000 fuel cell trucks a year.

The hydrogen and fuel cell industry could really benefit from Nikola succeeding, and could really be hurt by its failure at least in the mainstream public. All eyes are on the company now to see if it can fight off the distractions of its electric “toys”, develop a heavy-duty fuel cell stack from scratch, and build out a coast to coast hydrogen station network where both trucks and cars will be able to fill. Only time will tell…

Public Workgroup Meeting on the Implementation of California’s Allocation of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

On Thursday, April 11 in Sacramento, CA the first of a series of identical stakeholder workgroup meetings was held at the CalEPA building. The purpose of the meeting was for the State air districts (Bay Area, San Juaquin and South Coast) to solicit feedback on the implementation of California’s $423 million allocation of the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust. The details of the VW mitigation trust are found in the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. SB92 states 35% of the funds will go to Low Income and Disadvantage communities; it is expected that 50% of the funds will go to these communities. Public comments may be submitted during the workgroup meetings or online until May 12, 2019. Funds are broken down into the following categories:

1. $130M for Zero Emission Transit, School and Shuttle Buses with $65M available in 2019

  • Up to $400,000 for fuel cell transit buses
  • Solicitation opening up summer 2019 and immediately beginning funding contracts
  • Applications are first come first served and will be awarded on a basis of when applications are deemed complete.
  • Administered by BAAQMD & SJAQMD

2. $90M for Zero Emission Class 8 Freight and Port Drayage Trucks; $27M starting in 2019

  • Freight truck, port truck, waste hauler, dump truck, concrete mixer all eligible
  • Replacement should be removing an engine from 1992-2012 up to $200,000
  • Need to be approved by CARB and available for commercial use
  • Solicitation will be released in the 3rd and 4th quarter 2019
  • Applications are first come first served and will be awarded on a basis of when applications are deemed complete.
  • Administered by SCAQMD

3. $70M for Zero Emission Freight and Marine Projects with $35M available in 2019

  • Up to $175,000 for heavy-lift forklift, port cargo handling; $2,500,000 for repower of ferry, tug and towboat and installing shore power
  • 75% of costs covered if non-government, 100% if government (port authority)
  • Solicitation opening Q3-Q4 2019 with awards in early 2020
  • Administered by BAAQMD & SJAQMD

4. $5M for Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure (hydrogen stations) up to 33% of costs that will be combined with CEC funding

  • Solicitations open in Q3-Q4
  • Could be used to fill a gap in the map, gap in the capacity in equipment compared to demand.
  • Proposed to be combined with existing $20M allocated by AB8 for CEC.

– Full workgroup meeting schedule can be found here

– To view the recorded webcast of the April 17, 2019, workgroup meeting held at SCAQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar, click here

– Public comments can be made here

Green Transportation Summit & Expo

From May 22-23rd in Tacoma, Washington the Green Transportation Summit & Expo was held showcasing the latest in electric transportation with a program of panels and breakout sessions. Hydrogen and fuel cells were highlighted on the second day in the AM with two breakout sessions on light duty and heavy duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Simultaneously a breakout session on “Port Community EV Blueprint: The Plan for Electrifying a Major Seaport” was held with persons from the Port of Long Beach, Port of Seattle and City of Seattle. The City of Seattle is excited to talk about port electrification. Ports are a critical piece of the transportation system. Morgan Caswell, POLB is responsible of the implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) and grants program. Most of the zero emission equipment today (about 200) are the ship to shore cranes. There will be 225 pieces of zero emission equipment in Port of Long Beach by 2020. POLB currently has 1,400 pieces of cargo handling equipment. There has been a total of $76 million in grant funded zero emissions projects; demonstrations at all major port terminals. There are ongoing port equipment electrification projects happening in Port of Long Beach with some lessons being learned. UL listing requirements for all equipment has been a challenge along with short circuit current rating capacity for the vehicle charging units. Another challenge for battery electric equipment is the parking site configuration layout for charging as well as the charging cable weight and use by equipment operators; a top handler requires two charging cables and two people to do it instead of one.

For Port of Seattle, as the largest cruise port on the west coast, they are focused on sustainability. The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy is between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, it contains greenhouse gas reduction targets of 50% by 2030 and carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050 for port controlled sources from 2005 levels. Port of Seattle also plans to increase access to shore power and implement sustainable fleets. Also on the panel was Matt Hart, Grant Farm who is part of the CEC project “Community EV Blueprint” looking at the barriers, challenges and opportunities for an all-electric POLB. The grant was awarded in June 2018 and includes Long Beach City College for workforce development. Part of the study includes looking at the wide scale adoption of hydrogen fuel cells and when it will reach price parity. The Grant Farm performed a stakeholder outreach survey on terminal operator perceptions of zero emission (ZE) equipment: majority of people surveyed thought ZE yard tractors were more commercialized than ZE passenger vehicles; while terminal operators, trucking companies, labor and utilities perceived ZE yard tractors, RTGs, and top handlers to be more commercialized than technology developers did. Only 6% of all other stakeholders said ZE equipment needs to have a range of more than 16 hours while 60% of operators said ZE equipment does need a range of more than 16 hours. 17% of all other stakeholders said 4 hours or less was a tolerable charging time while 60% of operators agreed. 0% of operators said there’s a competitive advantage of going green while 93% of all other stakeholders said there was a competitive advantage. 0% of operators said that they understand ZE equipment and vehicle drive cycles “very well”. 60% of operators said “significant” workforce training is needed for ZE equipment while only 13% of all other stakeholders agreed. The Community EV Blueprint project focus is to share information, increase market acceptance and work with stakeholders on detailed planning efforts identifying paths forward. As well as to fund workforce development and enhance benefit awareness to terminal operators. The Grant Farm is working with Long Beach City College on workforce development. The EV Blueprint can be found at