Cummins and Navistar have announced they will work together on the development of a Class 8 heavy duty truck powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The project will be partly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through its H2@Scale initiative to develop affordable hydrogen production, storage, distribution and use. It is one two DOE grants awarded to Cummins, totalling more than $US7 million.

“This vehicle will feature our next-generation fuel cell configuration, and provides a springboard for us to advance our hydrogen technology for line haul trucks,” said Amy Davis, president of New Power at Cummins.

“We are also excited to build on our strong relationship with Navistar, which dates back 80 years, and work together to lower costs and make hydrogen-powered vehicles more accessible for fleets to adopt.”

Cummins said the funding will help develop an integrated fuel cell electric powertrain for heavy-duty trucks.

This includes development of a solution that is highly manufacturable and scalable with a proven range of 300 miles or more, and improved fuel economy over current heavy-duty trucks, the company said.

“Cummins is a trusted Navistar partner and collaborating with the company on this project is a milestone in learning integrations surrounding the functionality, adoption and scalability of hydrogen fuel cells as a power source for Class 8 vehicles,” said Darren Gosbee, vice-president of engineering at Navistar.

“Hydrogen offers great opportunity in the commercial vehicle sector and we’re proud to be part of the team working to develop a complete solution for customers.”

The prototype will ultimately see a year-long field test.

The truck will be integrated into Werner Enterprises’ fleet of more than 7,700 prime movers, and operated in local and/or regional delivery operation based in Fontana, California, Cummins said.