In a major step toward eliminating emissions from the world’s 4,000+ commercial airports, Universal Hydrogen Co., a hydrogen fuel services provider that uses unique modular hydrogen capsule technology, and JBT AeroTech, a leading global provider of airport ground support equipment (GSE), announced a joint development agreement for the design and development of an H2AmpCart.
The H2AmpCart will be a hydrogen fuel cell-powered mobile battery charger for existing electrified airport GSE.
To meet environmental and local community needs, the aviation industry is moving away from diesel-powered GSE by rapidly adopting electric equipment to mitigate the adverse effect of greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate harmful air pollutants and noise nuisances for communities proximate to airports. JBT AeroTech has been a pioneer and leader in the development of electric GSE.
However, this shift toward electric GSE is hindered by infrastructure challenges, including the substantial investment required from airports for electrical charging stations, the limitations of airports grid power, and the scarcity of renewable electricity on the grid.
Over 130 airports have made commitments to fully decarbonize emissions under their control by 2030. This objective will not be met without a solution for clean charging of electric GSE.
The H2AmpCart addresses these challenges and seamlessly integrates into existing airport operations for an immediate and cost-effective transition to true zero emissions.
Universal Hydrogen and JBT AeroTech are developing the product in response to a chorus of airline demand to ensure that their investment in electric GSE yields the promised climate and community benefits.
Recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis, the partners will move at pace to develop and showcase the first demonstrator unit utilizing Ballard’s FCmove-HD+TM hydrogen fuel cell by the end of 2023, with production beginning in 2024, and entry into service by the end of 2024.
To this partnership, Universal Hydrogen brings its modular hydrogen delivery system, initially conceived for hydrogen aircraft, but also directly applicable to ground equipment.
The company will provide hydrogen fuel services to H2AmpCartTM customers at airports globally with no additional on-airport infrastructure needed.
Additionally, Universal Hydrogen will share its experience integrating hydrogen fuel cells in aviation powertrains, as seen in its recent flights of a fuel cell-powered regional aircraft.
JBT AeroTech will bring its experience with its existing AmpCart product and be responsible for the production of the fuel cell charger, airport and aircraft compatibility, and sales and support leveraging its extensive network as a leading GSE OEM.
“Our modular hydrogen fueling solution, requiring no new hydrogen infrastructure to be built, will ensure that the H2AmpCart is a turnkey electric GSE charging solution for airlines and airports that cannot afford to wait years or have the investment capability for clean electric charging infrastructure to de deployed,” said Arnaud Namer, Chief Operating Officer of Universal Hydrogen.
“Combined with Universal Hydrogen’s conversion kit and hydrogen fuel services offering for regional airplanes, this will make the regional aviation ecosystem the most climate-friendly mode of powered transport on Earth.”
“For over a decade, JBT AeroTech has been the partner of choice for airports and airlines seeking to be at the forefront of sustainable ground support solutions. With this partnership, we’re excited to quickly advance our customers’ electrification journeys with the power of hydrogen,” said Chuck Durst, President of GSE at JBT AeroTech.
“Collaborating with Universal Hydrogen to rapidly bring this modular hydrogen fuel-cell powered charger to market enables us to help our customers accelerate their conversion to electric power GSE.”