Centre for hydrogen-powered trucking opens in Warrnambool

A research centre at Deakin University’s campus in Warrnambool, Victoria, will develop solution to decarbonise trucking in partnership with Australian truck manufacturer, Kenworth.

The centre will focus on the role that hydrogen can play as an alternative fuel source for freight truck. The $20 million HyceL@Warrnambool research and testing site will bring together industry and academia, said Deakin vice-chancellor professor Iain Martin.

“The centre will partner with industry to apply Deakin University’s world-leading capabilities to solve one of our toughest transport issues: how to fuel the world’s trucking industries in a low carbon future,” he said.

Formally known as the Hydrogen Transition Centre, the centre was opened with $2m in funding from the federal government. According to Martin, the centre will create jobs for an expanding sector.

“Freight trucking continues to grow here and overseas, and trucks are driving further, with heavier loads; all big challenges. The centre confirms Deakin’s commitment to the Warrnambool campus and the broader region, and when the HyceL@Warrnambool project is fully established it will create up to 200 full-time jobs.”

Research and testing at the centre will cover hydrogen fuel-cells, electric vehicles, and gas distribution. To overcome the unique issues presented by freight trucking, such as long distances and greater weight, the centre will investigate how electric vehicle technologies can be combined with hydrogen fuel-cells.

“If successful, the enhanced technologies could be used by Kenworth trucks made here in Australia, as well as those made internationally by Kenworth’s parent company PACCAR – a US Fortune 500 company. The technologies can also be applied to other heavy vehicles, such as buses, including those operated by Warrnambool Bus Lines,” said Martin.

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