Shore-to-Store: The Future of California’s Zero-Emission Trucking Infrastructure
In the name of Net Zero, California has set a formidable goal: 100% of new cars and light trucks sold by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. It's a bold move, targeting one of the largest contributors to the state's greenhouse gas emissions—heavy-duty mobility.
Enter the Shore-to-Store program, a “potential model for developing and commercializing the next generation of clean trucks and cargo-handling equipment for the region and beyond.” While this program is still in its infancy, the future already looks greener.
What does the Shore-to-Shore hydrogen mobility program entail for the Golden State and the rest of the country? We’ll explore the details of the program, its significance, and more, below.
What Is Shore-to-Store?
Shore-to-Store is an $82.5 million project that unites the public and private sectors to make that ambitious 2035 target of state-wide sustainable transport more than just a pipe dream. This program is supported by a $41.1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board, which has paved the way for America’s hydrogen economy.
The project is comprised of three critical components, led by various industry giants working in tandem to promote sustainable heavy-duty transport:
- Hydrogen trucks – A collaboration between Kenworth Truck Company and Toyota Motor North America has produced ten hydrogen fuel cell electric Class 8 on-road ICE trucks. These heavy-duty vehicles showcase the viability of hydrogen as a clean fuel for transportation.
- Hydrogen fueling infrastructure – Shell Oil Products USA and FASTECH have partnered to develop, build, and operate three large-capacity hydrogen fueling stations in Wilmington and Ontario. In addition to these Shell HDV hydrogen refueling stations, FASTECH also constructed an adjacent LDV station in Long Beach. Going forward, these stations will serve as foundational pieces in developing a network of hydrogen fueling infrastructure throughout Southern California.
- Electrification of port equipment – The Port of Hueneme will introduce the first pieces of zero-emission equipment at their facility—two electric yard tractors and an e-crane. Additionally, Toyota Logistics Services will employ two battery-electric forklifts at their warehouse, thus completing the zero-emission goods movement concept.
The Need for Zero-Emission Trucking
Each day, hundreds of thousands of semi-trucks move essential goods and products throughout the state. While these gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles serve as the backbone of California’s commerce, they’re also major contributors to the state’s carbon footprint.
Nationwide, the transportation sector alone accounted for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2021. Of that, medium to heavy-duty trucks were responsible for nearly a quarter of those harmful emissions.
If California wants to reach its 2035 sustainability targets, gas-guzzling giants can't be part of the equation as they exist in their current state. Because these trucks don't just emit when they're on the move, idling times are another hidden culprit.
Whether waiting at loading docks, sitting in traffic, or taking mandatory rest stops, heavy-duty vehicles spend a significant amount of time running their engines but going nowhere, which only exacerbates the emission problem.
With its Shore-to-Store program, California is leading the way in the nationwide adoption of zero-emission technologies for the betterment of the planet.
The Role of Hydrogen in Zero-Emission Trucking
Hydrogen is more than just a gas substitute—it's a game changer for the future of hydrogen mobility for heavy-duty transport.
For starters, hydrogen generated via electrolysis represents a clean, sustainable fuel that emits nothing but water vapor when used. Hydrogen can also power electric motors, offering increased flexibility in its applications. Other benefits include:
- Optimized fueling – Nobody wants to wait an hour to re-fuel, especially not truckers on a tight schedule. According to McKinsey: “Hydrogen vehicles fuel up relatively quickly—about 15 times faster than battery-powered EVs that use so-called fast-charging technology. Hydrogen refueling is also half as capital intensive as EV fast charging and requires about ten times less space.”
- Suitability for heavy-duty applications – Given their compact size and superior power output, hydrogen fuel cells have a distinct edge over the cumbersome batteries typically required for heavy-duty electric vehicles.
- Energy storage capabilities – Generally speaking, hydrogen has much greater potential than conventional fossil fuel alternatives thanks to its energy storage capabilities. Energy produced from solar and wind can’t be stored for extended periods, whereas hydrogen can be both stored and transported.
- Increased energy density – Compared to electric batteries, hydrogen boasts a significantly higher energy density by weight. This higher density translates into longer operating ranges and times, which is necessary for heavy-duty vehicles that are on the road for extended periods.
How FASTECH is Supporting California’s Future Zero-Emission Trucking Infrastructure
If California seeks to transition to a zero-emission trucking future, hydrogen must play a leading role over the coming decades. In that regard, developing infrastructure will be pivotal. Without it, even the most promising technological leaps may fall flat.
This is where FASTECH comes in, revolutionizing not just how Californians think about fuel but also where and how they access it. We place our existing hydrogen stations and those currently in development along critical trucking routes, thus ensuring a seamless transition to this sustainable energy source.
But this isn't just a solitary endeavor. It can’t be. By working with local and state governments, integrating with key transport hubs like the Port of Los Angeles, and partnering with forward-thinking energy solution providers like Shell, we’re reimagining the future of heavy-duty transport together.