“We want our engines to keep the world moving in the future, too. The construction sector is in the middle of a fundamental shift toward greater carbon neutrality. Transforming transportation is a huge task, but also a business opportunity for us. Through our Dual+ strategy launched at the start of the year, we aim to make the most of such opportunities, continue to grow profitably, and establish our company among the top three independent drive manufacturers,” – Dr Sebastian C Schulte, CEO of DEUTZ AG.
To create the best possible solution for every customer, DEUTZ is harnessing diesel, gas, electric and hydrogen technologies. This year, the company unveiled the TCG 7.8 H2 hydrogen engine – a major step toward achieving volume production of hydrogen engines for the commercial vehicle sector. Full production is expected to surge ahead in 2024.
The six-cylinder engine based on an existing design and while it produces 220 kW of power, the model is carbon-neutral and quiet. The engine was piloted in a genset for generating electricity and will initially be used in generators but there are plans in place to extend the TCG 7.8 H2 engine for use in mobile applications, too.
After the initial genset pilot, the engine is being trialed in an 18-tonne truck and potential off-highway applications include agricultural and construction equipment.
Key to the progress and production of the hydrogen engine is DEUTZ’s decision to source components from MAHLE, which has been awarded a volume contract to develop and deliver power cells units that will be built into the hydrogen engines.
The design of the engine is based on conventional combustion engine technology, but importantly, it runs on hydrogen instead of fossil fuels and the hydrogen combustion process does not generate CO2 emissions.
MAHLE has a long and successful history in working on components for hydrogen engines and brings significant expertise in combustion engines and alternative fuels. Its power cell unit consists of a piston, piston rings and piston pin which have been adapted from conventional diesel technology.
“We believe that hydrogen is a key element of sustainable mobility, especially in the commercial vehicle sector,” says Arnd Franz, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the MAHLE Group.
“This project with DEUTZ is both a milestone and a beacon, as it shows that there are technological alternatives to electrification for achieving climate neutrality.”
Dr Schulte says DEUTZ needs to provide a range of technical options in order to keep the world moving.
“It remains uncertain what a carbon-neutral excavator or combine harvester might look like. Drive systems that are constantly in use and move large loads could be based on a number of different technologies,” says Dr Schulte.
“One of them is the hydrogen engine and the success of our pilot projects shows their potential for use in commercial vehicles. In MAHLE, we have a strong partner at our side who will help us to start volume production of our hydrogen engines at the end of 2024.”