“Hydrogen is an important lever for decarbonization. It has the potential to make many commercial vehicles climate-neutral particularly quickly,” said MAHLE CEO Arnd Franz at the “Hydrogen Motor Live” event hosted by the Hydrogen Motor Alliance e.V. at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) today, Friday. MAHLE is a member of the alliance and is among the 20 partners from the automotive industry who presented their hydrogen-related product innovations at the event. The Hydrogen Engine Alliance sees hydrogen engines as an alternative to battery-electric and fuel cell drives on the verge of a breakthrough in all major markets. Representatives from industry and politics took part in the event.
In his keynote speech, Franz made it clear that hydrogen is the alternative to purely electric propulsion, especially in the transportation industry, because the total costs for fleet operators are the decisive factor here. “In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets, we need innovative competition and not ideologically driven technology specifications. Mobility needs for people and goods are enormously diverse. That’s why we should think in terms of diversity of technologies. A competition of ideas and concepts that is open to all technologies is the fastest and most promising way to achieve climate neutrality,” explained the MAHLE boss. In the current political consultations on updating the EU CO2 fleet targets for heavy commercial vehicles, the potential of hydrogen and renewable fuels must be fully exploited in addition to electrification.
“MAHLE is ready for the hydrogen engine,” Franz affirmed. Soon, the first products in series production for construction and agricultural machinery will provide proof of this. Many components and products from MAHLE can already be used for hydrogen today. The operational hydrogen engine is a signal for the development of a hydrogen filling station infrastructure in Europe, which must start promptly in order to bring the technology onto the road. Hydrogen engines on the road can pave the way for an efficient and comprehensive refueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles as well.
At its hydrogen test center in Stuttgart, MAHLE can develop and thoroughly test technologies for hydrogen engines as well as fuel cell drives. MAHLE engine components enable maximum efficiency and operational reliability with the lowest emissions and competitive costs.
Battery-electric, hybrid drives and internal combustion engines as well as hydrogen drives will form the drive mix of the future. However, developments will vary greatly depending on the region of the world. For commercial vehicles in particular, the internal combustion engine will continue to dominate worldwide after 2035, accounting for around 60 percent.