Hydrogen Diesel Trucks

The world's first modified pickup truck fueled by a combination of hydrogen and diesel fuel was unveiled at a Regina event in 2004. Money for the $463,000 research project was provided by the federal and provincial governments as well as by Ecce Energy Corporation, a Saskatchewan company for which the Saskatchewan Research Council conducted a feasibility study. The proprietary hydrogen systems developed in Saskatchewan constitute a critical bridging technology as the transportation industry moves towards the fuel cell vehicles of the future. A fuel cell is similar to a battery, and uses hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity. This unique modification of existing vehicles to use hydrogen with conventional fuel provides the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost and greatest flexibility to the vehicle operator. The first prototype was a General Motors heavy-duty pickup truck with a 6.6-L turbocharged diesel engine: the vehicle can be operated on diesel fuel alone, or on a combination of hydrogen and diesel fuel; performance and drivability are considered excellent; and there is no power loss when using hydrogen. The next step in testing will involve adapting the technology to fuel an automobile by a combination of hydrogen and gasoline.

Joe Ralko