Hydrogen-powered truck takes the stand

A Dutch-built hydrogen-powered prototype truck was one of the more innovative alternative-fuelled vehicles to preview at the RAI Show. The Hytruck C8HE is based on a Mitsubishi Canter 7.5-tonner, but its manufacturer says its technology can be mated to other makes and models. To create the vehicle, the company replaced the existing diesel motor, gearbox, differential and fuel tanks with a completely new-concept driveline, called the Hytruck H2E.

It has fuel cells mounted under the cab producing 16kW, that draw hydrogen from the 227-litre fuel tank containing 5.8kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 350bar. The energy from the fuel cells is transferred to the batteries, which are mounted where the diesel fuel tanks used to be. The fuel cells provide continuous charge to the batteries. Hytruck has already signed up three companies to take part in vehicle trials in Holl-and, including Corus and a major supermarket.

Jan Boudesteijn, Hytruck company director, says if the trials are successful, the technology could become available in the UK. He adds: "The Hytruck is ideally suited to the needs of inner city and regional door-to-door distribution of goods. It will be the first distri-bution vehicle on the market that satisfies all the distribution demands without noise pollution and harmful emissions. "The Hytruck is demonstrating that there are no technical barriers to achieving the goal of a climate-friendly and environmentally-neutral truck."