Is a hydrogen-powered Bobcat coming soon to your fleet?

By Jenny LescohierNovember 16, 2021

Scott Park, Doosan Bobcat CEO and president

Alternatives to diesel-powered construction equipment abound, with varying degrees of immediate viability, and right now, hydrogen is having a moment.

Doosan Bobcat is looking at hydrogen power for its machines as key barriers to its implementation are being reduced, says Scott Park, president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat.

Speaking to our sister media outlet, International Construction magazine, for an in-depth interview that will appear in the November issue of the magazine, Park admitted that hydrogen power was on the agenda for the compact equipment specialist.

“Clearly, we have to look at hydrogen, and we are,” he said, adding that the two biggest barriers to hydrogen power are its availability and distribution – something that governments are working on.

“It looks like governments around the world are jumping on the bandwagon to support the availability of hydrogen in itself and then the distribution, which are the two most difficult pieces to take care of. The rest of the picture, we’re going to have to figure that out.”

The OEM is investing heavily in electric equipment, but Park says that until the cost of electric machines are the same, or similar, to internal combustion-powered machines, adoption rates will struggle.

“We do have customers that don’t mind paying the extra dollar to get a piece of equipment that has no emissions. Zero emissions are something that they fully believe in, and so they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. But that’s not a majority of customers, it is a small minority,” Park said.

He added that regulation is the key to bring down the cost. “If you look at the automotive industry, or at some other industries, true acceleration really comes from regulation, whether it’s regulation on the requirement for non-emissions engines or a regulation which means a subsidy into that product category that really brings that picture together.”

Major equipment and engine makers are investigating hydrogen and other alternative power sources as they develop new products. 

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