Hyundai Doosan Infracore (HDI), the manufacturer of heavy machinery and construction equipment, has developed a hydrogen combustion engine. Not for passenger vehicle use but for commercial vehicles, construction equipment, and power generators. The 11-liter unit will be ready for mass production by 2025.
HDI has completed the design of its hydrogen combustion engine for commercial use, which can now enter the prototype phase for testing. It’s an 11-liter straight-six engine with a 300 kW (408 hp) and 1,700 Nm output, comparable to what you can expect from a similar diesel engine. And just like a regular combustion engine, refueling only takes a few minutes, while emissions are limited to some water vapor if pure hydrogen is used.
Cheaper than batteries
Hyundai Doosan Infracore claims a 25 to 30 percent lifetime money savings compared to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) or even battery electric vehicles (BEV) due to the lower purchase price and maintenance costs – we assume HDI has included a pricy battery pack replacement for the FCEVs and BEVs in its calculations. In terms of efficiency, this hydrogen combustion engine is likely not at the same level as a hydrogen fuel cell.
HDI will mount this hydrogen combustion engine to trucks, buses, and construction equipment for testing during 2024, with full-scale mass production scheduled for 2025.
HDI is not the only industry company testing hydrogen combustion engines. Toyota has also been developing an adapted gasoline engine, although this is a three-cylinder unit for smaller passenger vehicles. It has been used in race cars, and more recently, Toyota has been testing a Corolla Cross with a hydrogen combustion engine, but commercialization is not yet certain.
Not the same Hyundai
To be clear, HDI is technically unrelated to the car manufacturer with which it shares its name. Doosan Infracore started life as Daewoo Heavy Industries before Daewoo Group fell in 1997. Doosan Heavy Industries bought the company and sold a 35 percent stake in 2021 to Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, forming Hyundai Doosan Infracore.
Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Motor were part of the same group until 2003 when the Hyundai Group was split into five independent companies following a restructuring.
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