Bipartisan federal legislation in the USA, aimed at supporting the adoption of hydrogen-fuel-cell technology in trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles has been introduced in both the Senate and the House in Washington.

U.S. Senators Chris Coons a Democrat from Delaware and John Cornyn  a Republican from Texas, introduced the Hydrogen for Trucks Act  S.3806, this week, supporting  the adoption of heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fuelling stations.

Companion legislation in the House, is being led by Democrat Representative Katie Porter from California and  Republican Gus Bilirakis from Florida.

The Hydrogen for Trucks Act provides financial support to fleet owners and operators looking to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles, and also aims to support the development of fuelling stations.

Supporters of the bills explained in a release that heavy-duty vehicles account for only a small fraction of vehicles on the road but contribute nearly a quarter of all transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles produce no emissions, just a small amount of water vapor and warm air, providing the opportunity for cleaner forms of transport without sacrificing reliability or range.

Heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles are an emerging technology just beginning to enter the market, and first adopters face cost barriers and risks that require federal support to overcome.

The intention of the Acts  are to incentivise the adoption of heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by covering the cost difference between these vehicles and traditional diesel vehicles.

It also aims to encourage parallel deployment of vehicles and fuelling stations, addressing the chicken-and-egg challenge that exists with vehicles and fuelling infrastructure.

The other goal is to provide data and benchmarks for different types of fleet operations, helping to incentivise private investment and accelerate deployment.

The bill has been endorsed by major suppliers, industry bodies and infrastructure providers, including Air Liquide, Air Products, Bakken Energy, Bipartisan Policy Centre (BPC) Action, Carbon Direct, Chemours, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition, Cummins, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Nikola, PGT Trucking, RMI, and Third Way.

“The time for action is now, and this legislation will help accelerate decarbonization of the transportation industry,” said vice president of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for Cummins, Amy Adams.

“It is critical that we invest in both hydrogen infrastructure and vehicle technologies to deploy the solutions required to combat climate change,” said Adams

A major US fleet operator, PGT Trucking said it is investing in trucks that will operate using hydrogen as a fuel source.

“While trucking companies and equipment manufacturers are making substantial investments and taking risks toward the development of various hydrogen-fuelled transportation solutions, it is critical that an infrastructure providing robust distribution channels of hydrogen fuel be deployed nationwide,” said president of PGT Gregg Troian.

This is one of the latest in a number of other bills that have been introduced in both chambers this session aimed to accelerate hydrogen-fuel-cell adoption, including a number that would incentivise the production of “green” hydrogen.