TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. will start selling fuel cells for commercial vehicles through a partnership with California-based manufacturer US Hybrid.
Sumitomo is strengthening its automobile business and expects growth in the fuel cell market. It plans to supply mostly Japanese commercial vehicle makers.
US Hybrid produces highly durable fuel cells. Its products withstood about 20,000 hours of driving in testing in the U.S. and can also operate in extremely cold climates.
While fuel cells are already in practical use in passenger cars, the technology has yet to expand to commercial vehicles. Since trucks and buses generally run longer distances than passenger vehicles, durability is vital in fuel cells being installed in them.