Manitou introduces prototype hydrogen telehandler
07 December 2022
Manitou Group has presented a prototype telehandler powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. With its target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of its equipment by 34% per hour by 2030, the new hydrogen-powered telehandler follows the electrification of the company’s all-terrain aerial platform and telehandler ranges.
The group is now looking to hydrogen as a medium-term alternative for its customers and says it would like to see its electric and hydrogen ranges offered side-by-side, with a target of 43% of its products being low-emission machines by 2030.
The hope is to offer a production ready, 100% hydrogen-powered telehandler by 2026.
A prototype rotating telehandler will be ready in the coming months.
The French manufacturer has based this first prototype on an existing model from its 14m height range. The unit will be fully tested and sent out to construction sites by the end of 2023, with a view to collecting user feedback.
As part of the hydrogen development process, Manitou has equipped its test centre with a green hydrogen station, allowing the prototype telehandler to be tested for range and reliability in real-life conditions, while checking the durability of components.
Manitou is evaluating two types of hydrogen technology, namely hydrogen combustion engines and fuel cells. The group’s first prototype is built around a fuel cell, but it will ultimately choose the solution that best meets the needs of customers.
Michel Denis, managing director of Manitou, explained, “We are studying all the hydrogen-related technologies based on what users need.
“This prototype is only the first step. A second rotating telehandler prototype will be developed in the coming months.
“There are many benefits of green hydrogen with production possible using wind power that has no greenhouse gas emissions at all. This fits in perfectly with our low-carbon trajectory.”
With the first phase prototype, the group said it is demonstrating its ability to innovate and measure the autonomy of this new source, without compromising on performance. Almost 50 engineers and technicians are dedicated to the project, which was launched in 2021.
Manitou is also relying on the support of the public authorities to develop a hydrogen ecosystem. Julien Waechter, vice president R&D at Manitou Group, added, “The green hydrogen sector is gradually becoming more established with the entry into this market of a number of players.
“All of the aid mechanisms proposed by the different governments will encourage the transition to hydrogen, and will speed up the development of the distribution network and ultimately the reduction in the usage costs of our machines using this energy.”
Find out about Manitou’s latest electric aerial platform launches and its plans for the newly-launched hydrogen telehandler in AI’s video interview with the company at Bauma 2022.