Add hydrogen to the list of alternatives that Deutz AG is investigating. The Cologne, Germany-based engine manufacturer announced it has signed a letter of intent on collaboration with Munich-based start-up Keyou. Hydrogen adds a further possibility for carbon-neutral drive systems alongside its electrification strategy, Deutz said.
The announcement said that Deutz AG and Keyou intend to jointly develop hydrogen engines for off-road and on-road applications, as well as for power generation, and bring those engines to production readiness. Keyou has developed a prototype for its Keyou-inside technology that can turn a conventional diesel engine into a drive based on hydrogen technology. Deutz provided support as a development partner, supplying the engine – one of its standard six-cylinder models.
Keyou’s first 7.8 L prototype Deutz engine was unveiled to the public in 2018 at the bauma China trade fair and will also be showcased in April 2019 at bauma in Munich. Specific pilot projects with vehicle manufacturers and end users are in the planning stage, with the appearance of the first prototype vehicles expected in the first half of 2020. The aim is to bring the engines to production readiness by 2021/22.
Deutz said this program fits alongside the E-Deutz strategy, which launched last year, as the collaboration with Keyou represents a further step forward in the advancement of alternative drive technologies and fuels. “The use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen is growing in importance. We believe that this drive solution will be a valuable addition to our electrification strategy and play an integral role in the zero-emission vehicles of the future,” says Deutz CEO, Dr. Frank Hiller.
By working on the development of a hydrogen combustion engine, Deutz is also offering an alternative to fuel-cell technology. The company’s expertise in combustion engines is being combined with Keyou-inside technology, which can convert conventional production engines to run on hydrogen. The technology is extremely scalable, both for on-road and off-road applications, and it can be used in a range of hybrid configurations, including in combination with electric drives, Deutz said.