Countrywide Hydrogen has signed a partnering partnering with automotive engineering company Walkinshaw Automotive Group to develop hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks and prime movers for the Australian market.
Countrywide, a subsidiary of ReNu Energy, is developing a number of hydrogen projects around Australia, while Walkinshaw is a leader in the design, engineering and development of performance vehicles.
Countrywide is targeting its first hydrogen production in Tasmania in 2025 to take advantage of road transport operators who are increasingly transitioning to renewables.
According to the company one missing piece of the hydrogen puzzle is the limited availability of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in Australia from original equipment (OEM) manufacturers.
While left hand drive trucks are available for import there are no right hand drive hydrogen fuel cell trucks on the market in Australia.
ReNu Energy Executive Director and Countrywide Managing Director Geoffrey Drucker said: “This partnership with Walkinshaw is aimed at fast tracking the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell trucks across Australia and follows our agreement with 7R Logistics which stated intention is to transition its Tasmanian fleet from Diesel to zero-emission fuel cell trucks.
“This project has an added benefit to the Australian economy as it complements the federal government’s goal to rebuild the nation’s manufacturing especially where it has a positive energy impact.”
Under the agreement the companies will work together to assess the feasibility of delivering RHD fuel cell trucks – Countrywide would build the market and Walkinshaw supply it with trucks.
They will explore importing LHD trucks for local conversion – Walkinshaw is currently delivering 70 RHD vehicle conversions a day with the RAM and Silverado brands, according to a statement.
Another option is to fit commercially available hydrogen fuel cell drive trains to truck bodies.
Walkinshaw Group Managing Director Joel Stoddart said the agreement set out a strategic framework for the companies to work together to assess the feasibility of hydrogen powered trucks.
Stoddart said: “Following successful completion of the feasibility analysis, the parties intend to convert the agreement into a long form agreement to progress the project.”
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Picture: Walkinshaw Group