Hydrogen engines to power existing fleets
Hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines offer an alternative approach to emerging fuel cell technologies. Whilst hydrogen fuel cells currently offer higher efficiencies, they are still a relatively new and developing technology in vehicles with economics and durability yet to be proven for heavy-duty applications such as replacing diesel rail traction power. They are also not tolerant of fuel or air contaminants. Adopting hydrogen internal combustion power for decarbonising rail transport may offer a shorter timeline to readiness for fleet roll-out as Ricardo has a 100 year history in understanding and optimising internal combustion engines.
A key area of attractiveness for fleet owners is the potential to re-work existing vehicles to incorporate Hydrogen engines and potentially even modify existing engines for use with hydrogen fuels to enable key capital savings on the path to lower carbon emissions.