Further evidence hydrogen has a strong role to play in the European heavy duty truck sector was announced at IAA Transportation 2022 in September with the launch of a new fuel cell system by Loop Energy. The company claims it will slash the running cost of fuel cell powered trucks, bringing it on par with diesel.
“The 120kW fuel cell system, known as the S1200, is designed to deliver up to 60% in net energy efficiency, compared to the typical 20% to 25% fuel-to-wheel efficiency delivered by a diesel vehicle,” says the company. It added that the technology will also provide “significant” help to OEMs and operators making the transition away from diesel and governments striving to reach their net zero targets.
Cost parity with diesel is one of the key barriers to the operational implementation of carbon zero vehicles. The announcement by Loop will be welcome news for both truck manufacturers and vehicle operators. The S1200 is specifically designed for medium to heavy duty commercial vehicles offering a step up in power range and scope compared to its other fuel cell products. Loop Energy attributes the efficency gain delivered by the S1200 to its patented eFlow fuel cell architecture. The company uses a signature trapezoid plate with narrowing channels for its bipolar plates, which increases gas velocity down the plate to deliver superior performance for fuel efficiency, and power output. This results in less hydrogen fuel used per kilometre, lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) of hydrogen-electric commercial vehicles.
“With the launch of our new fuel cell system, we are proud to be leading the way in making transport electrification economically viable,” says Ben Nyland, Loop Energy president and CEO. ”The S1200 brings world-leading fuel efficiency levels for medium to heavy-duty vehicles, crucially making the total cost of ownership lower and bringing fuel cost parity forward by four-to-eight years. We are keen to work with OEMs, governments and the wider hydrogen industry to help meet zero-emission targets. We strongly believe that energy transition must happen now, and hydrogen fuel cell technology is in prime place as an alternative to diesel-powered vehicles.”
Loop already has a deal in place with Tevva for the supply of fuel cells.