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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Concludes Testing for Carbon-Free Vehicle for Disaster Preparedness

News Release: DHS S&T Concludes Testing for Carbon-Free H2@Rescue Vehicle for Disaster Preparedness

Release Date: June 5, 2023

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the completion of a series of tests and demonstrations for the H2@Rescue Emergency Relief Truck. The H2@Rescue Truck is a first-of-its-kind hydrogen fuel cell/battery hybrid vehicle that can be driven to disaster recovery sites to provide on-site power for up to 72 hours without refueling. S&T, along with the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Accelera by Cummins Inc. funded the design and creation of the emergency vehicle.

“The H2@Rescue vehicle represents a significant leap forward in emergency response capabilities,” said Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “The hydrogen-powered technology ensures first responders can reach affected areas swiftly and provide critical assistance in times of crisis.”

H2@Rescue can operate as a self-propelled electric generator, with the ability to travel 180 miles and provide up to 25 kilowatts export power, enough to power 20 average U.S. homes, lights at a shelter, a communications trailer, etc. In addition, the system operates at full capacity with little to no noise.

“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,” said Ron Langhelm, S&T Mission & Capability Support program manager. “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.”

The hydrogen fuel cell offers a practical fuel alternative to responders while operating in near silence without volatile exhaust. Hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to be a stable and easily transportable energy storage medium for use in disaster response operations. The fuel cells are both energy efficient and environmentally friendly, utilizing 80% of the created energy and producing only water and heat as the byproducts.

After the project, Accelera by Cummins will take ownership of the vehicle, with the potential for future research and development advancement.

For more information on the H2@Rescue Truck, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/publication/hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered-emergency-relief-truck-fact-sheet.


Last Updated: 06/05/2023
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