SEOUL — Doosan Bobcat, a construction equipment maker affiliated with South Korea’s Doosan Group, joined hands with a joint venture created by SK E&C, the engineering and construction wing of SK Group, and PLUG, an American hydrogen energy company, to develop and commercialize hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts.
In January 2022, Doosan Bobcat showcased an all-electric compact track loader at CES 2022, the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition. The loader was installed with lithium-ion battery packs and a smart power management system to efficiently control the use of electricity during work and off-work hours. Because the loader uses electric cylinders and drive motors, operators no longer have to wait for the hydraulic system of their machinery to build up power.
While the electric system is ideal for powering small-sized construction equipment in an urban environment where access to electricity is easy, hydrogen fuel cell-based systems are more ideal for powering heavy equipment that requires high output. Like fossil fuels, hydrogen fuel can be carried to provide energy to hydrogen fuel cell equipment.
Doosan Bobcat said signed a memorandum of understanding with SK E&C-PLUG joint venture to commercialize small-sized hydrogen fuel cell construction vehicles including a forklift. They would participate in a state demonstration and commercialization project for hydrogen-fueled forklifts.
According to the construction equipment maker, the global heavy equipment industry, heavily dependent on fossil fuels, is currently undergoing a transformation into a clean energy-based one. There are about 52,000 hydrogen fuel cell forklifts in operation in the United States.
“We hope to create synergy between Doosan Bobcat, the world’s No. 1 forklift maker, and SK E&C and PLUG, the two companies who are leading the world’s portable fuel cell market,” Doosan Bobcat’s global strategy head director Kim Sang-young said in a statement on April 26.
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