Green hydrogen – you’ll love this game changer for eco fuel in trucking

Green energy developer Hiringa Energy has opened the country’s first zero-emissions green hydrogen refuelling network.

You may wonder what that’s got to do with us?

We’re always on the hunt to be more eco friendly and as part of Hiringa’s network, they’ve just moved in next door to our new state-of-the-art Palmerston North site. Watch this space as we look for ways to harness green hydrogen byproducts in our processes.

What is green hydrogen?

It’s a clean energy source, invisible, odourless and highly flammable. It’s made from splitting water and oxygen. Unlike other energy sources, like gas or oil, it’s a man-made product.

Green hydrogen is made by splitting water and oxygen.

And when used as a fuel it simply releases water vapour into the atmosphere, not CO2. It comes from renewable energy sources, like water, wind and solar. We’re lucky in New Zealand that we have access to all of those, with plentiful supplies of water and sun and wind production increasing.

It has enormous potential for decarbonising heavy road transport and therefore reducing CO2 emissions. As big trucks doing long distances are currently some of the country’s biggest emitters of emissions.

Hydrogen produced on site at Hiringa depots support hydrogen-fuelled trucks in the North Island.

Big companies interested in hydrogen trucks include the likes of PBT, Fulton Hogan, Move Logistics Group and Golden Bay Cement.  Refuelling with this hydrogen is fast, too, taking 10 to 20 minutes.

We’re talking about a clean alternative fuel instead of using, say, electric trucks, which means distance isn’t an issue.

How the test truck saved tonnes of CO2 emissions

As an example of the benefits of green hydrogen, the Hyundai Xcient fuel cell test truck has done more than 70,000kms. And in that time it has eliminated the need for about 29,700 litres of diesel, which equals 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

What does the future hold for fuel?

Green hydrogen won’t stop at fuelling trucks. Further, in the future we’ll see ships and planes, as well as other industries, like construction, using this fuel to power equipment. Apart from the obvious benefits to the environment, green hydrogen must also be a viable alternative for trucking. In terms of the trucks needed to run on green hydrogen and the cost of the fuel.

But it’s exciting, nonetheless.