While DAF is actively exploring and testing hydrogen combustion engines, it also believes it would be a huge mistake to throw away all the benefits of the combustion engine. There is a lot of speculation around the future of zero emission vehicles, but DAF Trucks are taking a practical approach looking at all of the possibilities open to it without backing winners at this point.
According to Ron Borsboom, Executive Director DAF Product Development hydrogen is only one part of DAF’s activities within the field of sustainability. He spoke to Gianenrico Griffini, Italian Truck Journalist and Chair of the International Truck of the Year committee.
See more of this interview in a future chapter in PowerTorque’s Alt-Power investigation of the alternatives to the current diesel power options in upcoming editions of the magazine and online.
DAF has always insisted that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution on the road to a sustainable future.
Hydrogen is one of the most promising routes to achieving zero-emission powertrains for long haulage transport when using wind or solar power to produce it. Like other truck manufacturers, DAF is exploring fuel cell technologies powered by hydrogen, but in addition to that, the Dutch manufacturer is also investigating the potential of hydrogen to fuel a combustion engine.
“That is still our vision,” confirms Ron. “For urban applications, fully electric vehicles are a good option and, for vehicles that must operate both in and outside of urban areas, hybrid technology is a realistic way to go.
“Currently, we have several of these hybrid trucks operating as part of a field test with selected customers, and their feedback is very positive, as hybrid technology offers the best of both worlds: zero emissions in city centres and a long-range, as well as maximum flexibility thanks to the modern and efficient diesel engine.”