Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle company Hydrogen Vehicle Systems (HVS) has unveiled a zero-emission, hydrogen-electric heavy goods vehicle (HGV).
The company showcased its hydrogen powertrain in the form of a 40-metric ton HGV technology demonstrator. Designed in-house by Pete Clarke, head of design at HVS, the technology demonstrator’s design enables improved aerodynamics compared with current internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks. Consequent benefits include improved fuel efficiency on long-haul runs and improved spatial ergonomics within the cab, including better access and more room at the controls. Depending on the journey – the route traveled, road conditions and driving style – HVS’s HGV has the capacity to travel up to 370 miles (600km).
HVS’s vehicle powertrain employs a fuel cell system and energy storage system to deploy electricity to an electric motor to transmit power to the wheels. It uses the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to recapture energy under braking while the truck slows down. The integrated powertrain is controlled with HVS’s advanced control system Semas, which monitors interactions between drivers and control systems, delivering fuel efficiency and durability.
The fuel cell permits longer range, higher load-carrying capacity, and faster refueling than would be possible using battery-electric technology alone: typical refueling time is comparable to diesel, around 20 minutes to replenish the high-pressure hydrogen tanks. According to the company, the only emission from the vehicle is water vapor, meaning there are no harmful greenhouse gas emissions of any kind. Many hydrogen fuelling stations will be located at existing commercial vehicle forecourts, using dispensers that look similar to conventional petrol and diesel ones, but with a different nozzle.
Other variants of the hydrogen-fuelled 4×2 HGV tractor unit, including a left-hand drive variant, are also in the pipeline. The units will be built on an all-new chassis, designed in-house around the hydrogen powertrain, which consists of pressurized hydrogen cylinders, fuel cells, an energy storage system and an electrified rear axle.
Jawad Khursheed, CEO of HVS, said, “We are delighted to reveal our 40-metric ton HGV at the Commercial Vehicle Show. This technology demonstrator showcases our ground-breaking hydrogen-electric commercial vehicle design and advanced powertrain technology. Our zero-emission trucks are a key part of decarbonizing the logistics sector. Hydrogen is the perfect fuel for the haulage industry, offering longer ranges and quick refueling thanks to stations being easily integrated into existing key transportation networks. What’s more, we will supply our customers with the most advanced HGV in the sector delivering a step change in driving experience and efficiency.”
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