Case Study: Ricardo Strategic Consulting supported California Fuel Cell Partnership in assessment of H2 trucks and fueling stations

Case Study: Ricardo Strategic Consulting supported California Fuel Cell Partnership in assessment of H2 trucks and fueling stations

Challenge

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. One of their key focus areas is enabling adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology in commercial trucks. Economic assessment of new technologies is important for identifying and overcoming barriers to commercialization and developing a strong business case for customers.

Approach

  • Leveraged Ricardo proprietary Total Cost of Ownership Models to estimate life cycle cost and payback period for investments in fuel cell medium/heavy duty trucks
  • Model comprises a detailed build-up of capital expenses and operating costs incurred over the ownership period of a conventional or alternative fuel truck
  • Analysis is supplemented with economic models of hydrogen refueling infrastructure that convey insights of capital, operational and transportation expenses incurred when installing and operating hydrogen stations

Recommendation 

  • Roadmap of key economic metrics for hydrogen powered trucks which are important considerations in purchase decisions of commercial fleets:
    • Total cost of ownership
    • Return of Investment / payback period

Results

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.

Toolset will help the Fuel Cell Partnership members in developing a consensus view of the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology as an alternative to diesel trucks.