HyMot project to decarbonise light commercial vehicles

The HyMot project focuses on an innovative technology: the hydrogen engine. By exploring the possibilities to convert an internal combustion engine to hydrogen, this project will demonstrate the feasibility of an alternative to electrification for light vehicles.

Decarbonisation of light commercial vehicles

The HyMot project aims to study an innovative technology, the hydrogen engine, applied to light commercial vehicles (LCVs) via the conversion of an internal combustion engine to hydrogen. It should lead to the creation of a demonstrator vehicle, a Master, and simulation of a digital driving fleet.

The project should show that a virtuous solution is possible and sustainable for light commercial vehicles with specific needs, i.e. with long distance travel on a daily basis and heavy payloads. Transport is the activity that contributes most to France's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 31% of total French emissions. Working towards decarbonisation is therefore a major challenge and recent innovations in hydrogen could make this technology a sustainable solution to decarbonise mobility, alongside battery electric vehicles or vehicles equipped with a fuel cell, for example. The research carried out by the HyMot consortium could also support the development of infrastructure for the distribution of carbon-free hydrogen for mobility.

A consortium of public and private partners

HyMot brings together a consortium of eight major players from the public and private sectors, including Centrale Nantes:

Centrale Nantes' role in HyMot

Centrale Nantes worked on the technical design for the hydrogen engine. Using a digital model of the demonstrator, which will become its digital twin, allowing for the simulation of different modes, the school was able to make recommendations for the engine's architecture. With this element established, Centrale Nantes will turn to exploratory research and improve performance in terms of autonomy, reduction of polluting emissions, consumption, driveability, etc. The school will rely on the use of its test benches and train experts via theses to advance knowledge in this field.

First series of tests in 2023

Meeting alongside the head of the consortium, Bosch France, on 29 September, representatives of the seven other partners presented the project's progress to ADEME. The participants reviewed the project's main indicators and shared the technical design of the hydrogen engine, which was finalized before the summer: a first key step that officially establishes the project's status.

The next steps involve engine assembly and installation on a test bench, with a view to launching a series of tests at the Bosch site in Saint-Ouen, which should get underway towards the end of the first quarter of 2023.
Published on October 17, 2022 Updated on April 6, 2023