Hydrogen cells have been touted as a strong solution for taking transportation into a more sustainable future. That’s because these fuel cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen, which creates a charge and produces only water vapor in the process. This amounts to a form of power that is essentially emissions-free.
Many innovators and manufacturers have been exploring hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source, especially as technology is moving from carbon fuel to carbon-neutral vehicle systems. Just as they are affecting transportation, these changes are also impacting the construction industry.
Now, Volvo Group has decided to test hydrogen power in a heavy equipment capacity. Based in Eskilstuna, Sweden, Volvo’s dedicated Hydrogen Fuel Cell Test Lab will host advanced testing of heavy construction units that are powered by hydrogen cells. Through the opening of the new test lab, Volvo Group aims to uncover what’s possible using this sustainable power source.
Carbon Fuel Alternatives In The Construction Industry
Many construction equipment providers have been looking at fuel alternatives as a way to stay competitive in a carbon-neutral future. Hybrid and electrical vehicle (EV) technology has been used in experimental and limited capacities at an increasing number of job sites. However, current power and equipment limitations have curbed widespread use.
Companies like Caterpillar and Pon Equipment have been working on electric power excavators in recent years. In addition to furthering carbon-neutral developments, benefits of electric power equipment including easier handling and reduced noise pollution have driven these developments. However, scaled-up battery packs required for EV heavy machinery continue to pose their own issues.
Will Hydrogen Fuel Surpass EV Shortcomings?
Although Volvo Group is currently producing wheel loaders and compact excavators, that are powered electrically and with improved sustainability diesel engines, the company is aiming to create a viable alternative that bypasses the need for oversized battery packs in larger equipment. Currently, hydrogen fuel technology may be the most promising option and Volvo intends to confirm this at their new technical center lab.
What are your thoughts on increased carbon-neutral fuel alternatives and their impact on the construction industry? Do you expect to see these innovations hit the job site in the foreseeable future or are they likely to remain experimental for some time? Comment to share what you think.
ABOUT Volvo Group
Volvo Group drives prosperity through transport and infrastructure solutions, offering trucks, buses, construction equipment, power solutions for marine and industrial applications, financing and services that increase our customers’ uptime and productivity. We are committed to shaping the future landscape of sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions. Our headquarter is located in Gothenburg, Sweden, and our shares are listed on Nasdaq in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Volvo Group’s brand portfolio consists of Volvo, Volvo Penta, Terex Trucks, Renault Trucks, Prevost, Nova Bus, Mack and Arquus. We partner in alliances and joint ventures with the SDLG, Eicher and Dongfeng brands. By offering products and services under different brands, we address many different customer and market segments in mature as well as growth markets.
Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. We are also a leading financial services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services.
We are in it for the long haul—for our customers and for our world. Our customers can be found in virtually every corner of the earth, and we realize our success comes directly from helping our customers be successful.
We have a long history of innovation and using leading-edge technology to provide customer solutions. Whether we’re researching ways to move more dirt with less fuel, developing products that generate fewer emissions, or exploring autonomous vehicle solutions, our strength is integrating customer feedback with ideas and actions to ensure our customers’ success. Now and in the future.
ABOUT Pon Equipment
Pon is involved in mobility products, services, and solutions globally. We also offer hundreds of industry solutions. What started as a small-scale family business in 1895, became a successful trading firm and well-known automotive retailer, leading in many markets. For more than 125 years we have moved people and goods.
Nowadays Pon is a company operating globally and in many markets. We are the number one car importer in the Netherlands, with a strong position in the States. We find ourselves in the top 5 of bicycle manufacturers and are well established in the world of marine solutions, excavation, energy supply, flow control (valves and circuit breakers) and industry services.