By Nick Carey
(Reuters) – Hydrogen fuel cell maker Loop Energy said on Sunday that its latest cell system could provide better fuel economy than a diesel engine at current price levels.
Based in Burnaby, British Columbia, the company said — based on European diesel costs of $1.91 per liter on Sept. 5 and $10 per kilogram of hydrogen — the truck can travel just over 111 miles (179 kilometers) at a value of $100. Fuel with the new S1200 hydrogen fuel cell system for just over 109 miles for an equivalent diesel truck.
As the auto industry shifts to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs), big-cargo truck makers like Daimler (OTC 🙂 Truck and Volvo are investing heavily in hydrogen fuel cells for long-distance charging because batteries weigh a lot to make electric trucks viable.
Hydrogen fuel cells run hydrogen through a catalyst that produces energy and heat to power a small battery that drives the truck – and the only emission from these cells is water.
Hydrogen fuel cells have faced two challenges for their widespread adoption: they have hitherto been less efficient than diesel and the fuel infrastructure in Europe is virtually non-existent.
The new cell system essentially addresses the first of these challenges, Nieland said.
“This is driving the future forward,” Ben Niland, CEO of Lube Energy, told Reuters. “This product offers the economics needed for adoption today.”
Nieland said Loop Energy aims to provide the fuel cell system to emerging truck makers and as part of hydrogen generating sets being supplied to large truck makers by major suppliers.
The company’s largest shareholder is Cummins, an American engine maker (NYSE:), which owns more than 20% of Loop Energy’s shares.