Thanks to R&D funding from the Energy Department’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), the Federal Express Hub at the Memphis International Airport in Tennessee has a new 15-vehicle fleet of hydrogen fuel cell powered ground support equipment. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on April 9 to mark the kickoff of the two-year demonstration of the vehicles, which are part of the world’s first zero-emissions ground support fleet in the world.

The successful project was funded through a $2.5 million grant from the Energy Department’s FCTO, with a matching $2.5 million cost share from private sector partners . Plug Power of Latham, NY provided the fuel cell technology and hydrogen fuel integrated into the vehicles, which are specialized cargo tugs supplied by Charlatte America.  There are more than 60,000 ground support equipment trucks in North America, representing an important market and opportunity to offer further energy and environmental benefits at airports.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted by FedEx Express and attended by U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen, DOE Project Manager Jim Alkire, and project industry partners (FedEx Express, Plug Power).

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) conducts comprehensive efforts to overcome the technological, economic, and institutional barriers to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.