Manitou Tests Hydrogen-Powered Telehandler in France

Feb. 15, 2023
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Manitou Group is testing its new prototype hydrogen-powered telehandler.

The first step of this plan involves guaranteeing range and reliability in real-life conditions, while testing the durability of components. The Group based this first prototype on an existing model from its range of construction machines, capable of lifting loads up to 14 meters. This machine will be tested and sent out to construction sites by the end of 2023 with a view to collecting valuable feedback from users to improve on this prototype.

Two types of hydrogen technology are currently being evaluated by the market, namely the combustion engine and the fuel cell. The Group’s first prototype is built around a fuel cell, but the Group will choose the hydrogen solutions that best meet the needs of its customers.

Michel Denis, managing director of the Group, explains: “We are studying all the hydrogen-related technologies based on what users need. This prototype is only the first step. A second rotating telehandler prototype will be developed in the coming months. There are many benefits of green hydrogen with production possible using wind power that has no greenhouse gas emissions at all. This fits in perfectly with our low-carbon trajectory."

With this first prototype, the Group is showcasing its ability to innovate in order to measure the autonomy of this new energy while offering its customers the hydrogen solution that best meets their needs, but without compromising on performance. Almost 50 engineers and technicians are dedicated to this approach, which was launched in 2021. To come up with an innovative solution that can be fully industrialized, the Group hopes to rely on the support of the public authorities to develop an emerging ecosystem.

Julien Waechter, VP R&D Manitou Group, explains: “The green hydrogen sector is gradually becoming more established with the entry onto this market of a number of players. All of the aid mechanisms proposed by the different governments will encourage the transition to hydrogen, and will speed up the development of the distribution network and ultimately the reduction in the usage costs of our machines using this energy."

Manitou Group hopes to offer its customers new innovative prospects, with a 100 percent hydrogen-powered telehandler available on the market by 2026.

Source: Manitou Group

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.