Hyster has commenced the trial of a hydrogen fuel cell-driven container handler at CMA CGM-owned Fenix Marine terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, US.

Based on the Hyster H1050-1150XD-CH top-pick container handler design, the container handler is powered by two of Nuvera’s 45kw hydrogen fuel cells.

In 2018, the California Air Resources Board provided a California Climate Investments grant for the development of a container handler powered by hydrogen fuel cells (HFC).

Designed to provide the zero-emissions benefits of a battery-electric option, the HFC-driven ‘top pick’ will have a sufficient capacity to prevent the need for operators to stop for refuelling or recharging in the middle of a shift.

With an aim to provide eight to ten hours of continuous run time, refuelling the container handler with hydrogen fuel is expected to be completed in around 15 minutes.

The hydrogen fuel cell is said to work in tandem with an on-board lithium-ion battery, providing power for the equipment directly or for charging the on-board battery,

The top pick is also fitted with a patented Hysterenergy recovery system for electric container handlers, which recovers and stores energy from lowering loads and braking.

Acquired by the CMA CGM Group in 2021, the Fenix Marine Services container terminal will use compressed hydrogen for the fuelling of the top pick.

Hyster big trucks global market development director Jan Willem van den Brand said: “Our mission is to provide the innovative technologies our customers need to help meet their goals for emissions reduction and performance.

“For some operations, lithium-ion power might be the answer, but for others, hydrogen is the right choice.”

The project is part of the California Climate Investments initiative, which aims to cut down greenhouse gas emissions.