Australia’s RMIT University has created a small-scale replica of the Scania Highline series long haul truck, but this one is operated by remote control and hydrogen fuel cell. The full scale real life diesel version usually travels between the cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
According to RMIT, “Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said given the carbon tax, emissions trading and rising diesel costs, new sustainable technologies offered industry a way of stabilizing costs …
“The hydrogen -powered electrical system could also supply power for truck air-conditioning and radio, along with a trailer refrigeration unit. Hydrogen refilling stations are powered through solar PV panels.”
Having large hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Land Down Under would be especially beneficial to that continent since 20-percent of greenhouse emissions are caused by trucks.
But, even though the RMIT vehicle may be Australia’s first hydrogen fuel cell truck, it is not the first of its kind in the world. I’ve talked about hydrogen trucks and especially the Vision Tyrano fuel cell truck many times over the past couple of years. The last time I spoke of this vehicle was in July 2011 when Vision Industries announced that they were commercializing their fuel cell long haul truck and have received a letter of intent for 100 such vehicles.
But, what’s notable here is that different parts of the world are facing the same problem of cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and coming up with similar solutions. Fuel cell forklifts which have already been commercialized in the U. S. and Canada are now spreading to the European markets as well. Large trucks are next and by 2015 all of the major automakers say they will have at least one model of hydrogen car for sale.
Global warming and the need to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions is a worldwide problem, so it is good to see that hydrogen fuel cells are playing an important role in a worldwide solution.