Mahle wins series order for Deutz hydrogen engines

Mahle, a Stuttgart, Germany-based supplier of components for electrification, thermal management and internal combustion engines, has secured a series order from engine manufacturer Deutz for the development and supply of components for hydrogen engines.

A hydrogen engine on the Mahle test bench in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo: Mahle)

Mahle power cell units, which consist of the piston, piston ring pack and piston pin, will be used by Deutz in stationary hydrogen engines starting at the end of 2024. Mahle has adapted and further developed the aluminum piston and piston ring pack from classical diesel technology, the company said, noting that a key challenge in hydrogen combustion is to find the optimum between the gas mixture forced into the crankcase during the combustion process and the oil consumption. The company said it has already verified the reliability of the hydrogen components in a variety of engine classes.

In addition to hydrogen engines for stationary applications such as power generation, Deutz plans further development of the technology for the off-highway sector, including agriculture and construction. “To keep the world moving, we need different technology options. What a climate-neutral excavator or combine harvester will look like remains to be seen,” said Dr. Sebastian C. Schulte, chairman of the Management Board of Deutz.

He noted there are several options for engines that are continually in use and move large loads, one of which is the hydrogen engine. “Our successful pilot projects demonstrate the potential in the commercial vehicle sector. With Mahle, we now have a strong partner to help us enter series production of our hydrogen engines at the end of 2024,” Schulte added.

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As part of this partnership, Mahle’s technology group will also contribute its experience with hydrogen to the Deutz project. The company pointed out that it has been working for years on development of engine systems for hydrogen and other climate-neutral fuels, including the opening of a new 1,400-sq.-meter test center for hydrogen applications at its Stuttgart location in March 2021.

“We see hydrogen as an important building block for sustainable mobility, especially in the commercial vehicle sector,” said Arnd Franz, chairman of Mahle’s Management Board and CEO. “This project with Deutz is a milestone with a lighthouse effect because it shows that there are other technological levers besides electrification to achieve climate neutrality.”

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