Liebherr Premiers Prototype Hydrogen Loader

July 2, 2024
Large loader is fully powered by hydrogen.

Liebherr unveiled a prototype hydrogen-powered wheel loader in Salszburg, Austria, along with the Austrian state’s first hydrogen filling station.

The company demonstrated the L 566 H wheel loader during an event at its Bischofshofen, Salzburg, factory, emphasizing the size of the machine. Although specs were not released, the diesel-powered L 566 Liebherr wheel loader has an operating weight range of 51,700 pounds to 58,310 pounds and carries buckets with capacities ranging from 4.6 cubic yards to 15.7 cubic yards.

Liebherr identified hydrogen as the optimal zero-emissions power source for this size loader. Hydrogen reciprocating piston engines prove to be ideal in this case, according to the company.

The hydrogen engines are manufactured at the engine plant of Liebherr’s components product segment in Bulle (Switzerland). The company said the engines emit zero greenhouse gases and almost no nitrogen oxides, and are highly efficient. Another advantage is that the interfaces are comparable to those of a diesel engine—thermally and mechanically. This represents a significant step forward in the development of sustainable large-scale machinery, according to the company.

At the same time, Liebherr inaugurated the first hydrogen filling station in the state of Salzburg, representing an important milestone in the use of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source, according to the company.

“To make progress in hydrogen research, we need to have access to hydrogen,” said Herbert Pfab, CTO of Liebherr Bischofshofen, in a statement. “We built this filling station to further advance our goals for decarbonizing construction machinery.”