The world’s first forklift truck with a direct-injection hydrogen combustion engine will be presented at the CeMAT materials handling exhibition in Hanover this week. The concept vehicle is ready for use. However, precisely when the company will launch its first hydrogen series product on the market has not yet been determined. With a load capacity of 3-tonnes the trucks is designed for efficiency, and is fully capable of reaching its maximum power rating while being operated with hydrogen. The vehicle does not give off any emissions. The hydrogen-powered engine turns the fuel into water vapour.
Hydrogen is currently considered to be the cleanest source of energy, as it predominantly emits water vapour when converted into electric energy. A further benefit is the sheer unlimited availability of hydrogen. If the hydrogen is produced using electrolysis with renewable energy sources such as hydraulic power, wind energy or photovoltaic then the vision of an emission-less energy cycle could become a reality.
Linde Material Handling believes that hydrogen-powered trucks could be economically viable from 2015.