Exxon Mobil Corp. said it will partner with two other companies and an Israeli university to build a commercial lift-truck application powered by fuel cells from hydrogen produced in the truck.
The powertrain will be 80% more efficient than existing engines, the company said in a statement last month.
Exxon Mobil developed the system with QuestAir Technologies Inc. and the Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Under the agreement, Plug Power Inc. will seek to commercialize the technologies that take liquid fuels — gasoline, diesel, ethanol or biodiesel — and convert them into hydrogen onboard the vehicle, where it will be used in a fuel cell powertrain.
“There is a long road ahead before this technology could be deployed on a mass scale in passenger vehicles, but it has the potential to be up to 80% more fuel-efficient than today’s internal combustion engine technologies and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 45%,” said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering.
The Exxon Mobil system produces hydrogen on demand so that no infrastructure or onboard storage would be necessary, as with other prototype hydrogen vehicles, the company statement said.