Dual-fuel diesel-hydrogen truck launched

The first step into the future of fuel was taken yesterday when the first hydrogen truck of the southern hemisphere was launched in Invercargill.

HW Richardson Group has been working to develop dual-fuel hydrogen prototypes for the last year and yesterday — as part of George Begg Festival — released their first dual-fuel truck — the first of 10 to be converted.

HWR chief executive Antony Jones was pleased with the progress.

"We are really excited today. It is just an amazing day to see something that we committed to 14 months ago, here, now — making a big difference in heavy vehicles emission.

"A lot of passion comes alive today."

After having a ride, he said there were no differences between the new model and any other diesel truck.

"It feels like a normal truck. For those who are heavy vehicles drivers, they'll see no difference.

"We’ve been able to maintain high productivity vehicle status."

HWR general manager of innovation Gareth Wishart agreed.

HWR general manager of innovation Gareth Wishart and chief executive Anthony Jones are pleased...
HWR general manager of innovation Gareth Wishart and chief executive Anthony Jones are pleased with the launch of its first dual-fuel truck, powered by diesel and hydrogen which they believe is the first of its type in the southern hemisphere. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
"It can carry 58 tones on the roads of New Zealand and it is 40% powered by hydrogen."

He said the dual-fuel was a diesel truck and when the driver uses the diesel tank, it starts to inject hydrogen from the other tank into the engine through the air intake.

When the hydrogen mixed with the oxygen, it "displaces" diesel, he said.

"The computer control will send less diesel to the engine and more hydrogen — and at the end of the day we have up to 40% less emissions as result of that."

Mr Wishart believed this was the first step of a potential revolution for the industry as just his group had a 1300-truck fleet and the country had 45,000 heavy trucks.

It cost about $150,000 for the truck conversion which gave 40% renewable generation; while a 100% hydrogen truck could cost $1.2million.

The company would convert 10 of its trucks into dual-fuel hydrogen trucks and would establish an electrolyser in Gore to collect data on carbon emissions.

"We are really looking forward to taking this further," Mr Wishart said.