ZeroAvia, known for its work in hydrogen-electric solutions for aviation, announced a strategic partnership with Shell to develop two commercial-scale mobile refuelers for use at the company’s facility at Hollister Municipal Airport in California.
The announcement comes on the heels of “positive predictions relating to the falling price trajectory of hydrogen fuel and a flurry of State-led activity for establishing H2 Hubs as the Department of Energy prepares to receive bids from across the U.S.”
Under the terms of a signed memorandum of understanding, Shell and ZeroAvia will “develop a compressed, low-carbon hydrogen supply for ZeroAvia’s California facilities and power fight testing” as well as other locations in the western United States.
In its statement, ZeroAvia said, “This strategic collaboration will support the development of ZeroAvia’s flight testing program in the U.S. following the arrival of its second Dornier 228 at Hollister last month and will advance the company’s Hydrogen Airport Refueling Ecosystem (HARE) on a larger scale.”
“ZeroAvia will begin flight-testing its ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain this summer using its two Dornier-228 testbed aircraft, first in the UK, and later replicating this work on the US-based demonstrator,” the company said.
“ZeroAvia’s zero-emission powertrains use hydrogen fuel in a fuel cell to create a chemical reaction which produces electricity. That electricity then powers electric motors that spin the propellers, while producing no emissions other than water,” ZeroAvia explained.
“Shell recognizes the aviation sector has unique challenges in decarbonization and needs practical and scalable net-zero solutions,” said Oliver Bishop, general manager, hydrogen at Shell. “We believe ZeroAvia’s technology is a viable option, and this agreement will allow us to demonstrate successful provision of low-carbon hydrogen supply while supporting development of codes, standards, and refueling protocols for hydrogen-powered aviation.”
“These milestone announcements represent significant hydrogen infrastructure advancement for ZeroAvia and the industry,” said Arnab Chatterjee, vice president of infrastructure at ZeroAvia. “Hydrogen-electric aviation is the only practical, holistic, and economically attractive solution to aviation’s growing climate change impact. Fuel provision needs to be economical and convenient for airlines to achieve operational cost benefits and ZeroAvia is leading these pioneering infrastructure developments together with leading partners like Shell.”