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Liebherr premieres hydrogen large wheel loader


Liebherr has unveiled what it says is the world’s first prototype large wheel loader with a hydrogen engine.

The L 566 H hydrogen-powered large wheel loader was presented at its Bischofshofen, Austria plant, in front of business and political representatives. 

The machine was developed after extensive studies, which identified the groundbreaking technology as the optimal solution for operating large vehicles that are difficult to electrify without CO2 emissions.

For smaller vehicles up to about 15 tons, battery-electric solutions are often suitable. However, the situation is different with larger machines with an operating weight of up to 40 tons and high energy requirements. Hydrogen reciprocating piston engines prove to be ideal in this case.

The hydrogen engines are manufactured at the engine plant of Liebherr’s Components product segment in Bulle (Switzerland). They enable not only zero emissions of greenhouse gases and almost no nitrogen oxides, but are also highly efficient.

Another advantage is that the interfaces are comparable to those of a diesel engine – thermally and mechanically. This represents a significant step forward in the development of sustainable large-scale machinery.

Another highlight of the show was a MAN truck, also with a hydrogen engine. This shows that hydrogen technology is not only feasible in wheel loaders, but is already used in construction site trucks.

The loader and filling station launched at Liebherr’s Austrian plant.

First hydrogen filling station

At the same time as this world première, the first hydrogen filling station in the state of Salzburg was inaugurated, representing an important milestone in the use of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source.

An important strategic partner in this project is Maximator Hydrogen, which is not only the manufacturer of the newly opened filling station, but also a research partner of Liebherr.

Together, they are working on mobile filling facilities so that machinery can be refuelled directly at the construction sites. This is particularly important for remote construction sites and machines that are not very mobile.

Another reliable partner is MPREIS, which ensures the supply of green hydrogen. This is important because only through emission-free production – using wind, hydroelectric or solar energy – can hydrogen play a key role as a sustainable and climate-friendly energy source.


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