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Liebherr unveil ‘world first’ large wheel loader with hydrogen engine

Liebherr has broken new ground by unveiling a large wheel loader powered by hydrogen, which it describes as a “world first”.  

Liebherr demonstrated the new machine, the L566H, at its Bischofshofen plant in front of several industry stakeholders.  

While the event focused on alternative drives with a series of talks, the demonstration was the main talking point alongside the inauguration of the company’s first hydrogen filling station in Salzburg.  

“To make progress in hydrogen research, we need to have access to hydrogen. We built this filling station to further advance our goals for decarbonising construction machinery,” chief technical officer of Liebherr Bischofshofen Dr.-Ing. Herbert Pfab said.  

Liebherr believes after extensive testing and research that hydrogen presents as the “optimal solution” to power large vehicles that are difficult to electrify without CO2 emissions.  

Refuelling takes place at the company’s own hydrogen filling station on the Liebherr factory premises. Image: Liebherr

According to Liebherr, larger machines up to 40 tonnes with high energy requirements could be suited to this new technology with hydrogen reciprocating piston engines. The interfaces are comparable to those of a diesel engine – thermally and mechanically. 

Liebherr manufactured the hydrogen engines at its facility in Bulle, Switzerland. The hydrogen filling station at Liebherr Bischofshofen is believed to be the first of its kind in Salzburg. The station was manufactured by project partner Maximator Hydrogen and green hydrogen supplied by MPREIS.   

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