If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll realize that I like to talk about hydrogen forklifts and fuel cell lift trucks. This is mainly because while hydrogen cars are still in the prototype or leasing phase, hydrogen-powered forklifts and lift trucks are being commercialized at a rapid pace.
And, one of the main companies commercializing this leading edge technology is industrial gas supplier Air Products. And, yes, Air Products has done it again.
At the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Air Products has converted 72 lift trucks to run on hydrogen fuel cells. And they have also installed the necessary refueling infrastructure as well.
This conversion and installation was done when the plant was offline during their annual vacation break. The fuel cell powered materials handling units will be used to move Mercedes-Benz parts around the plant intended for assembly at this car manufacturing facility.
According to the international gas supplier, “Air Products’ equipment and infrastructure at Tuscaloosa includes an outdoor liquid hydrogen storage and compression system, along with piping to multiple indoor fueling dispensers.”
The fuel cells inside of the lift trucks come courtesy of Plug Power’s GenDrive system. My hope is that one day, not only will fuel cell powered lift trucks help build traditional automobiles at the Alabama Mercedes plant, but they will also help build hydrogen cars such as the Mercedes F-Cell B-Class as well.