British Columbia creating new opportunities in hydrogen economy and commercial trucking

November 16, 2023. A new, first-of-its-kind pilot program that uses hydrogen to power commercial trucking will help accelerate B.C.’s transition to a clean economy and create new opportunities for people and businesses with the support of provincial funding.

“B.C. is already leading Canada in the switch to zero-emission vehicles for personal transportation, with a record number of British Columbians choosing to go electric,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Today’s announcement will kick start the use of hydrogen-powered trucks for commercial transportation across the province, helping to get businesses off fossil fuels and build a clean economy.”

With $16.5 million in funding from the Province for the pilot, B.C.-based hydrogen-energy company HTEC will procure six different heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks and complete upgrades to a hydrogen-fueling station in Tsawwassen and a maintenance facility in Abbotsford. The B.C. Pilot Hydrogen Truck Project aims to start the use of hydrogen in the commercial transportation sector.

“Hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks are a key part of our climate plan to steeply cut both carbon emissions and air pollution,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We launched Canada’s first hydrogen policy in 2021 and this news shows how we can be successful in using clean hydrogen to decarbonize trucking fleets and fight climate change.”

Colin Armstrong, president and CEO of HTEC, said: “Through the Province’s significant investment in zero-emission trucks in B.C., and the simultaneous development of robust infrastructure to enhance their operations, this pilot project symbolizes a remarkable leap toward a sustainable future. It marks the first-ever deployment of heavy-duty hydrogen fuel-cell electric trucks for a diverse range of fleet operators in the province, a historic moment for the trucking industry. We applaud the provincial government for their vision and support, and we are delighted to be the wheels on the ground and driving force behind this groundbreaking project.”

Hydrogen is a leading solution for reducing pollution in the commercial transportation sector where there are few options available. Hydrogen-powered trucks do not produce any harmful emissions and have advantages over battery-electric trucks because they have longer range, faster refuelling and more power to pull larger payloads.