Converting diesel engines to hydrogen: Truck test to reduce emissions starts

Converting diesel engines to hydrogen: Truck test to reduce emissions starts

Trials of hydrogen fuels are underway across Australia, but a project in Tasmania is attempting to create an all-renewable energy supply chain – from green hydrogen production to distribution.

The state will soon have hydrogen dispensers at several service stations as governments and the private sector join forces to accelerate the rollout of zero-emission vehicles in the heavy-duty sector.

The Commonwealth provided $6.5 million to LINE Hydrogen, which plans to complete its solar-powered hydrogen production facility in northern Tasmania early next year.

The company has reached an agreement with fuel retailer Bonney Energy to deploy hydrogen fuel pumps at some of its points of sale and directly at freight company locations.

The pumps will be installed on key Tasmanian freight routes including the Midland Highway.

The trial involves the introduction of hydrogen-converted trucks – up to B-Double size – operated by freight companies in Tasmania on lease or through sub-contracting.

The Toyota Mirai is available in Australia by special order only.(Scope of delivery: Toyota)

Brendan James, CEO of LINE Hydrogen, said “this is new technology” and companies need to feel “comfortable”.

“The truck that we are initially going to market with will be manufactured here in Australia. They are Australian chassis, ADR compliant, being converted to run on hydrogen.

“By far the fastest way for us to really make a difference, to really reduce our CO2 emissions, is to start converting the trucks that are already on the road.”

Tasmania is considered an ideal starting point

The attempt will be small at first, but the rollout of hydrogen vehicles, which emit water vapor and heat, could accelerate rapidly over the coming decade to meet Australia’s net-zero targets.

Bonney Energy chief executive officer David Miller said the rollout of a hydrogen supply chain model has come earlier than expected.

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