Hydrogen mobility is gradually taking shape: Numerous well-known manufacturers are developing hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles. They are at full speed on both fuel cells and hydrogen engines. New consortia are emerging, and investments in H2 infrastructure are increasing. As the first hydrogen specialist company worldwide, KEYOU, presents an 18-ton truck and a 12-meter city bus with a hydrogen engine – based on an already existing diesel engine platform. At the heart of both vehicles is KEYOU’s proprietary KEYOU-inside system, which will be used in the future primarily to convert existing vehicles.
Successful “engine wedding” at the beginning of the year, first “on-road” tests in spring
Since 2015, KEYOU has been developing H2-specific technologies, components, and combustion processes that can be used to transform conventional combustion engines into emission-free hydrogen engines. In the process, KEYOU has succeeded in developing the world’s most efficient H2 engine to date from a diesel engine platform. Both prototype vehicles presented are based on the 7.8-liter hydrogen engine developed by KEYOU. The 18t truck is based on a Daimler Actros chassis. The integration work, which started in January 2022, was carried out by Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH from Vilshofen, the European market leader in special vehicle construction. Following the successful “wedding” – i.e., the integration of the engine into the vehicle – the first test drives are now scheduled near Munich. Individual approval for the demonstration vehicle is expected to be completed as early as this summer so that the 18t truck will be allowed to travel on public roads for demonstration purposes. The European Innovation Council (EIC), which is providing financial support for the project via the EIC Fund, is also impressed by the technology and the team.
With the 12-meter city bus, which is based on the chassis of a leading European bus manufacturer, KEYOU presents another zero-emission vehicle with a “KEYOU-inside hydrogen engine.” Development and construction of the vehicle are supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Paul Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH is also responsible for the integration work on this vehicle. A special feature of this vehicle is that the hydrogen engine is operated here as a mild hybrid variant, thus fulfilling to a particular degree the requirements that a transport company places on a city bus.
Both prototype vehicles live for the first time at the IAA 2022
The 12-meter city bus, as well as the 18-ton truck, will be presented live to a wide audience for the first time in September at this year’s IAA Transportation. “With our prototype vehicles, we are not only demonstrating that hydrogen engine technology works in practice, but also that it is a cost-effective and robust alternative to battery-electric or fuel cell vehicles,” explains Thomas Korn, CEO, and co-founder of KEYOU GmbH.