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Sunday, October 1st, 2023

DHS S&T successfully completes tests of first of its kind hydrogen fuel cell/battery hybrid vehicle

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) took a step toward changing the face of emergency relief this week, as tests concluded for its H2@Rescue Emergency Relief Truck.

The truck incorporates hydrogen into its make up. It boasts a hydrogen fuel cell/battery, making for a unique hybrid vehicle. It can operate as a self-propelled electric generator, providing 25 kW of export power to disaster recovery sites for up to 72 hours without refueling. It has a range of 180 miles, and can do its tasks with little noise – a rather noticeable change from traditional generators.

“Imagine a hydrogen-powered temporary shelter operating fully without noise, exhaust, or emissions. In addition, the potential exists to capture both heat and water to further support the operation,” Ron Langhelm, S&T Mission & Capability Support program manager, said. “The innovative hydrogen-powered system not only offers climate resilience advantages, but also provides first responders with increased operational flexibility, extended range and rapid charging capabilities.”

Many organizations were involved in funding the design and creation of the new emergency vehicle beyond the S&T, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Accelera by Cummins Inc. Accelera by Cummins will take possession of the vehicle once the project is concluded, although the potential for future research and development may remain.