• NATALIA SOUSA

AVL Advances Development of Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine for CO2 Neutral Transportation

AVL has continued with the development of the latest generation hydrogen combustion engine. The heavy-duty vehicle engine can reduce the mass of greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 3.5 tons. Its use will significantly reduce the CO2 emissions attributable to these types of transport vehicles in the coming decades.



AVL is currently developing a hydrogen internal combustion engine, advancing the pan-European goal of becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The development project aims to increase the efficiency potential of multi-port and a direct injected hydrogen engine concept for direct propulsion of a commercial vehicle with an existing standard powertrain. AVL used a 12.8 l natural gas engine for the basis of development and set its performance target at 350kW. With its development of a hydrogen engine, AVL aims at reducing CO2 emissions and also ensuring the high-reliability of the piston bore interface.


In 2019, heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 3.5 tons were responsible for 240 million tons of CO2 emissions in the European Union. This mass of greenhouse gas emissions represents roughly one-quarter of all road transportation-based CO2 emissions in the European Union. To become the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050, Europe must significantly reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in the coming decades.


More transport solutions with zero CO2 emissions are required for heavy and long-distance transport. Here, specific solutions that allow fast refuelling of carbon-neutral energy carriers to ensure the duty cycles of trucks and busses are essential. Although battery electric solutions show convincing performance, the easiest and most efficient way to store

renewable electrical energy chemically is through hydrogen production by electrolysis. Next to the obvious usage of hydrogen as a fuel for fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen can be used as fuel for an internal combustion engine.


Based on the results gathered during development, AVL is well prepared to face the upcoming challenges associated with a hydrogen combustion engine's product development. These engines will usher in a future hydrogen fueling infrastructure. In the decades to come, hydrogen combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles

will be using the same fueling infrastructure, which means that the hydrogen combustion engine technology is paving the way towards a carbon-neutral goods transport sector.