Diesel trucks are notorious polluters, causing 26% of greenhouse gas emission in the transportation industry even though they represent just 6% of the vehicles on the road.
California is trying to change that, and the trucking industry has a deadline that is fast approaching. In 2024, 9% of all new Class 4-8 truck sales must be zero emissions.
"There's definitely a lot more interest from every single truck company for solutions in the zero emissions space," said Eric Coupal-Sikes, Vice President of Engineering for Hexagon Purus.
The Ontario-based company is one of the global leaders in key technologies needed for zero emission trucks - not by redesigning the entire truck, but certainly what goes under the hood.
"What's under the hood. What's under the frame rails, exactly. So complete zero emission power train. Both battery electric for regional haul and hydrogen for long haul," explains Coupal-Sikes.
Truck manufacturers sell nearly 250,000 new big rigs every year across the country. Even though 13 other states have adopted California's zero emission legislation, original equipment manufacturers will still only sell about 6,000 zero emission vehicles initially, while needing to simultaneously produce 240,000 diesel trucks for other states.
That's where Hexagon Purus comes in.
"There's not one solution that's better than the other. We believe for short range, the EV is going to make quite a bit of sense if you've got the ability to trickle charge overnight. And then for longer range applications, this is where hydrogen is going to make sense," said Todd Sloan, Executive VP of Hexagon Purus.
"We have the capability to help them install these zero emission power trains at our facilities here in Southern California, and that enables them to both continue business as usual as well as introduce zero emission trucks rapidly," added Coupal-Sikes.
Hexagon Purus began focusing exclusively on zero emission in 2020, but the company has over 20 years experience in the alternative fuel trucking industry, which accounts for only 1% of the nationwide fleet.
But with expansion plans already in place, they believe they are ready to meet the expected demand.
"When you feel that power and have no sound, no emissions, you realize this is the future. It's a matter of how fast can we, the industry, make it happen," Sloan said.