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Ricardo teams with California Fuel Cell Partnership to pave way for hydrogen trucks

Ricardo Strategic Consulting is collaborating with the California Fuel Cell Partnership to provide economic modelling tools that will enable the assessment of total cost of ownership of future fuel cell trucks, and hydrogen stations necessary to support commercial operation.

Founded in 1999, the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) is an industry-government collaboration that aims to accelerate market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles to help create a cleaner, more energy-diverse future. Staff from CaFCP’s member organizations participate on standing committees and project teams that help ensure that vehicles, stations, regulations, and people are in step with each other as the technology comes to market.

Ricardo Strategic Consulting’s proprietary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) modelling capability, provides insights on the economics of fuel efficient technologies, both today and in future. This model enables vehicle manufacturers, regulators, transport authorities, urban planners, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions about new technology implementation.

The collaboration with Ricardo supports CaFCP’s efforts to enable adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology in commercial trucks. CaFCP last year released the Medium and Heavy Duty Fuel Cell Electric Truck Action Plan as the first step in this effort.

The Ricardo TCO model is being used to assess fuel cell technology as applied to commercial van and truck fleets. The model provides a building block for assessing the economic viability of future vehicles featuring new powertrain technologies including natural gas, battery electric, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cells by calculating key economic metrics such as total cost of ownership, payback period and internal rate of return. The model comprises a detailed build-up of capital expenditures and operating costs incurred over the ownership period of the vehicle, and includes benchmarked vehicle prices, duty cycle based miles per gallon, itemized scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs, future fuel prices and required infrastructure investment. The toolset is supplemented with economic models of refuelling infrastructure that convey insights on capital and operational expenses incurred when installing and operating refuelling infrastructure such as hydrogen, CNG/LNG and EV charging stations.

“Economic modelling and assessment is vital in identifying and overcoming barriers to commercialization of advanced technology, and to developing a strong business case against which customers can invest,” commented Piyush Bubna of Ricardo Strategic Consulting. “We are pleased to be collaborating with the California Fuel Cell Partnership by providing our extensive TCO economic modelling and analytical expertise and supporting the Partnership in its efforts to advance zero emission fuel cell technology in commercial truck applications.”

“Medium and heavy-duty fuel cell electric trucks will play a crucial role in reducing vehicle emissions in California,” said Bill Elrick, CaFCP executive director, “but are at the beginning stages of introduction. Ricardo’s TCO model provides an enabling toolset that will help CaFCP members develop a consensus view as to the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology, as an alternative to diesel propulsion in truck fleets operating with California.”

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