South Africa launches world’s largest hydrogen-powered truck | Energy News

A number of countries have pledged $8.5 billion and technical assistance to help South Africa become a low-carbon economy.

Mining giant Anglo American has unveiled the world’s largest hydrogen-powered truck, a 220-ton sample, at a platinum mine in northern South Africa.

The vehicle, announced as the first in a fleet to replace the company’s diesel-powered trucks, uses 2 megawatts of hydrogen fuel cells to carry up to 290 tons of ore.

“What we are launching is not just an impressive piece of machinery, it is the creation of an entire ecosystem powered by hydrogen,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the launch on Friday.

Similar in size to a small house, the behemoth was put on display at the Mogalakwena mine, about 250 km (150 miles) from Johannesburg.

“This is a giant leap forward for South Africa’s future hydrogen economy,” Ramaphosa said.

“This is truly a historic moment. It gives us a clear picture of what the future looks like.”

Anglo American said it aims to be carbon neutral by 2040.

It will use solar energy to provide the fuel and use the energy to split water into its constituent atoms hydrogen and oxygen.

When hydrogen is burned, only water vapor is released, not the heat-trapping carbon dioxide as with fossil fuels.

“In the coming years, we are considering converting or replacing our current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with this zero-emission transportation system, powered by green hydrogen,” said CEO Duncan Wanblad.

“If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80 percent of diesel emissions from our opencast mines by rolling this technology through our global fleet.”

Last November, rich countries including France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States pledged at least $8.5 billion and technical assistance to help South Africa transition to a low-carbon economy.

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