Sustainability
  1. Home
  2. Green Products and Services
  3. Greening Your Mail
  4. Recycling
  5. Direct Mailers
  6. Green News

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Pilot

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Pilot

The Postal Service implemented a pilot project from February 2017 to February 2018 replacing lead-acid batteries with hydrogen fuel cells to power fork lifts, tow motors, and pallet jacks at the Washington, DC, Network Distribution Center (NDC).

Hydrogen fuel cells proved to be a viable alternative to lead-acid batteries for use with powered industrial vehicles (PIV).  Lead acid batteries have limited run-time, long recharging cycles, and pose environmental and safety risks. Hydrogen fuel cells offer shortened recharge/refueling time, provided more steady voltage, and cleaner operations. In addition, hydrogen fuel cells reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Pilot

Financial highlights of the first year pilot include:

  • $3.4 million total investment including capital and expense
  • $3.5 million annual cost avoidance and operational savings
  • 107%  Return on investment

This was achieved through:

  • 27% increase in operator productivity as measured by containers handled per hour
  • Elimination of lead acid battery system costs
  • Electricity savings

The Postal Service is considering evaluation of the scalability of the technology at other facilities based on the pilot’s positive results.

Powered By OneLink