Liebherr has announced its first crawler excavator powered by a hydrogen combustion engine,.
The R9XX H2 is based on Liebherr’s generation 8 crawler excavators.
The 50-ton R9XX H2 prototype debuted at Bauma in Munich, Germany.
The Liebherr R9XX H2 is powered by the hydrogen H966 engine which is based on an intake manifold injection technology.
Liebherr says testing results show hydrogen propulsion has a promising future in the industry as the prototype had the same performance as its diesel engine counterpart.
Of course the one big difference is fueling. The R9XX H2 excavator and the refueling station communicate via infrared sensor for fast and safe refueling using a standardized high-speed protocol.
"The tests carried out in Colmar were extremely convincing," Henrik Weitze, Project Manager at Liebherr-France SAS told Equipment World.
“This technology promises many advantages for us in the future, especially in the most challenging applications.”
Liebherr says the H2 drive in the R 9XX H2 releases extremely low levels of nitrogen-oxide and carbon-dioxide.
“Depending on the assessment method used in each case, and whether the entire life cycle of the machine is taken into account, the hydrogen combustion engine can reduce CO2 emissions by almost 100%, when considering 'tank to wheel' or by 70%, when considering the 'cradle to grave' principle,” Liebherr says.
The company’s components division is working on additional hydrogen-based drive technologies, such as H2 direct injection, which enables a higher power density than the conventional H2 intake manifold injection and is, therefore, well suited for demanding work environments, such as earthmoving and quarry operations.