From the Middle of the ‘Middle Mile’

February 17, 2020

Earlier this month, MHI Solutions issued a feature store titled “Moving Through the Middle Mile”. Here, the middle mile is defined as the important part of the logistics supply chain that moves goods from the port to the warehouse or distribution center (DC). Cost and logistics take center stage in delivering (no pun intended) the customer’s expectations in regards to speedy delivery.

Technology advancement is discussed as an influencer to middle mile performance. But, we’re Plug Power, and we see a critical item missing from the analysis. You guessed it – hydrogen fuel cells! Middle mile logistics value high-asset utilization from  delivery fleets. It’s here that hydrogen fuel cell technology advancement makes a lot of sense. 

The transportation ecosystem is covering more miles at an increasingly rapid and immediate pace. In recent years, the adoption of electric delivery vehicles has increased. These electric delivery vehicles can be powered by two things: (1) batteries or (2) hydrogen fuel cells. 

For middle mile fleets, we believe fuel cells are the right solution for a zero-emission vehicle versus batteries, because of many of the attributes of range, fast fueling, maximization of cargo volume and higher power densities. We have proven that the range advantage is almost twice the distance when using fuel cell versus batteries, and fleets can be fueled eight to twelve times faster, a distinct advantage in asset-intense applications. 

According to KPMG’s most recent report, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have replaced battery electric vehicles as the no. 1 key trend in the automotive industry until 2025.  For these applications, Plug Power has developed its ProGen fuel cell zero-emission hydrogen engine. The product suite comes in many sizes, including class 6, 7 and 8 trucks – those most ideal for middle mile delivery solutions. ProGen allows Plug Power to meet our customers’ needs at every stage of their journey from fuel cell-powered forklifts on the warehouse floor to last-mile delivery and now middle-mile delivery between distribution centers as well. We’re proud to say that we now offer sustainable solutions for every link in the global supply chain.

As businesses are seeking reliable solutions for their e-mobility needs, and more efficient, cleaner power sources, Plug Power is pleased to be able to provide a zero emission fuel cell option.