Fuel-Cell-Powered Work Vehicle To 'Run Like A Deere'

Compiled By Deborah Austin Industrial equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. is creating a demonstrator version of a fuel-cell-powered commercial work vehicle. Deere, based in Moline, Ill., plans to test the modified John Deere Pro-Gator Utility Vehicle at demonstration sites starting in the spring. It is developing the project with fuel cell manufacturer Hydrogenics Corp., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, using Hydrogenics' third-generation HyPM-LP2 fuel-cell power module. The vehicle will function as a technology guide for Deere as it works on further product electrification, says Bruce Wood, director, Deere's ePower Technologies group. While its first prototypes are in smaller turf-care products, the company intends eventually to apply the technologies to larger equipment. Current electrification initiatives include the use of advanced battery technologies, diesel- and gasoline- hybrid electric technologies, and hydrogen fuel-cell technologies Commercial use of such off-road applications probably will precede widespread use of electric or hybrid-powered cars, suggests Wood, because off-road equipment usually is managed as a fleet with centralized fueling and service.

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