Fuel cell pause for thought

Volvo Technology AB, StatoilHydro ASA, the Danish company H2 Logic AS, Powercell Sweden AB and Sweden's SINTEF have joined forces to develop a new hydrogen-powered fuel-cell system for heavy goods vehicles and forklift trucks that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly. The fuel cell could significantly reduce emissions during idle times when engines are left running in neutral rather than stopping and starting them repeatedly. The new type of fuel cell uses some of the vehicle's diesel fuel to produce necessary hydrogen to keep an engine ticking over during rest periods. The developers point out that in the USA alone, big trucks running in neutral during rest periods generate 1.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which is more than the total emissions produced by all Norwegian road transport.