The corporations that construct these automobiles are eyeing the know-how but in addition protecting a view of how rules may develop for clear transportation.
“We are continuing to invest in the combustion engine, and we are looking to see if we can use hydrogen in that application as well,” stated Jessica Sandström, senior vp, international product administration at Volvo Trucks.
“One of the uncertainties, of course, is the political decisions regarding zero emission,” Sandström stated. “Is it zero CO2 or is it zero emission, full stop? If you have a combustion engine, even with hydrogen, you will get very small emissions coming out, nitrogen oxide.”
Daimler Truck Group’s Detroit household of diesel engines can run on hydrogen, stated Martin Daum, Daimler Truck CEO.
“If we see a market coming, we can pull it off the pre-development stage and put it into a full-fledged project,” Daum advised Automotive News.
The truck firm is ready “because all the signals from regulators in Europe and California are to ban combustion entirely,” Daum stated.
But there’s more likely to be room out there for hydrogen combustion engines someplace, and their compatibility with diesel engines is a bonus, stated Daniel Sperling, founding director of the University of California, Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies and a member of the California Air Resources Board.
“Just because Europe and California want something, that doesn’t mean that’s the whole market,” Sperling stated.
Still, he is skeptical the business will deploy hydrogen combustion extensively.
“A fuel cell is much more efficient than combustion. You use less energy. You then don’t have the cost of expensive tanks on the vehicle. You don’t have the NOx emissions,” Sperling stated.
“No one knows how this will play out, and we are all trying to figure it out.”