Countrywide Hydrogen, a subsidiary of ReNu Energy, has forged a partnership with Walkinshaw Automotive Group, an automotive engineering company, to collaborate on the development of hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks and prime movers for the Australian market.
This joint endeavor aims to address the current gap in the availability of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in Australia, particularly the absence of right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles.
Countrywide Hydrogen, which is focused on advancing hydrogen projects across Australia, plans to commence hydrogen production in Tasmania by 2025. The strategic timing aligns with the increasing transition of road transport operators to renewable energy sources. By targeting the Australian market with hydrogen fuel cell trucks, Countrywide and Walkinshaw aim to expedite the adoption of this clean and sustainable technology, providing an essential piece of the hydrogen puzzle in the country.
ReNu Energy’s Executive Director and Countrywide’s Managing Director, Geoffrey Drucker, emphasized the significance of the partnership with Walkinshaw in accelerating the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell trucks across Australia. Drucker also highlighted the positive energy impact this collaboration would have, aligning with the Australian government’s goal of revitalizing the nation’s manufacturing sector.
The partnership between Countrywide and Walkinshaw involves jointly assessing the feasibility of delivering RHD fuel cell trucks. Countrywide will focus on building the market for these trucks, while Walkinshaw will supply the vehicles. One option under consideration is the importation of left-hand drive (LHD) trucks for local conversion. Walkinshaw, known for its expertise in vehicle conversions, currently carries out 70 RHD conversions per day for the RAM and Silverado brands.
Another approach being explored is the integration of commercially available hydrogen fuel cell drive trains into truck bodies. This option would leverage existing technologies and components to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen-powered trucks in Australia.
Joel Stoddart, the Managing Director of Walkinshaw Group, expressed the strategic framework set out by the agreement, stating that after successfully completing the feasibility analysis, the parties intend to progress the project by converting the agreement into a long-term arrangement.
The partnership between Countrywide Hydrogen and Walkinshaw Automotive Group marks a significant step forward in the development of hydrogen fuel cell trucks for the Australian market. With a shared vision for a greener and more sustainable transportation sector, this collaboration has the potential to drive the adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles, contribute to the growth of renewable energy infrastructure, and support the government’s manufacturing goals.