First Zero Emission Combustion Engine Truck

Liverpool, UK – A truck with a combustion engine powered entirely from zero
carbon hydrogen fuel will take to the roads later this year. Developed by
hydrogen fuel pioneer ULEMCo, the converted VOLVO FH16 vehicle will use what
is believed to be the first ‘zero emission’ combustion engine anywhere in
the world. The 100% hydrogen combustion truck, with Mega Low Emissions
(MLE), is designed to provide a dramatic demonstration of how hydrogen fuel
can be deployed to decarbonise heavy goods vehicles efficiently and cost
effectively.

Unlike other ‘hydrogen fuelled’ vehicles, the MLE truck uses hydrogen to
power the vehicle using a combustion engine rather than via fuel cells and
an electric motor. However, in common with fuel cell versions, there will be
none of the usual emissions from hydrocarbons that impact on air quality –
such as unburnt fuel, particulates, carbon monoxide etc., and the NOx levels
will be immeasurably low. ULEMCo believes that using conventional engines
and existing truck designs, rather than the full transformation needed for
electrification, the time frame to the target of zero carbon emissions can
be shortened significantly, at the same time dramatically reducing the cost
of the change for customers.

By applying ULEMCo’s knowledge of the efficient combustion of hydrogen and
the use of hydrogen fuel directly in combustion engines, a significant
simplification of the vehicle emission control systems can be achieved.
Using a modified conventional engine, the powertrain cost is minimised and
the company is able to demonstrate that zero emissions can be achieved in
commercial vehicles at an affordable cost.

ULEMCo has converted many vehicles from diesel to hydrogen dual-fuel, and
these are in current active service around the UK. The demonstration vehicle
will be the first all-hydrogen example, will have at least 300HP, and with
17kg of hydrogen on board, a range of just less than 300 km unloaded is
expected. As hydrogen storage is the only additional hardware, a smaller
reduction in payload is experienced than with other low emission approaches.

“We are hugely excited about the potential for hydrogen fuel as a route to
faster achievement of zero carbon emission in commercial vehicles”, says
Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo. “With this MLE demonstrator, co-funded by the UK’s
innovation agency, Innovate UK, we are showing that 100% hydrogen fuel in
combustion engines is a practical and cost effective option. It sits well
alongside the hydrogen dual-fuel conversions that we have already
implemented commercially.”

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