South Korean forklift truck manufacturing giant Doosan have secured the purchase of a U.S based fuel cell manufacturer. The company are named ClearEdge power and specialise in developing fuel cell technology. The move signifies that Doosan have a renewed interest in developing and manufacturing their own renewable energy technologies.
ClearEdge are one of the most innovative technology labs in the United States and are a division of the recently purchased United Technologies. Currently, the hydrogen fuel cell development company are only involved in creating solutions for powering big buildings and large complexes. In fact, ClearEdge’s main product is a generator that takes up 800 square feet which raises the question, why have Doosan even bought ClearEdge?
However, Doosan have quite smartly indicated that their plans are for the company to eventually expand into creating smaller, more mobile technologies with the aim of eventually developing a hydrogen fuel cell small enough for use within a forklift.
Hydrogen has been big business over the past few years with lots of different companies all competing to move ahead of each other in the stakes to become the industries number one provider. The technology is seen by many as the number one solution to the lack of a good, working sustainable energy fuel type.
The potential for an energy-efficient fuel type in the logistics industry is unlimited. Replacing diesel engines with hydrogen ones would massively reduce the amount of unwanted emissions as well as the reduction of running costs. Even if you exclusively use electric forklifts, your running costs are significantly higher than they would be if you were to use a hydrogen powered fleet.
This renewed sense of impetus has been encouraged by the (relatively) new CEO of Doosan Jeff Hyungrak Chung. Chung has been involved in various aspects of the energy and forklift sectors for some time now and it was his experience at Chicago based management consulting fim McKinsey where he worked within the firm’s renewable and traditional energy department that has given him the insight to wisely invest in hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The Time Is Now
Indeed, now is the time for a focus on renewable energy. The switch has been endorsed by various senior figures and heads of state including Elon Musk and Barack Obama. In fact, the President of the United States recently stated that hydrogen was in fact the future of renewable energy and that the United States vision for their energy policy included hydrogen as one of the key energy sources.
It will be fascinating to see how this technology grows and develops over time. The potential for different implementations of hydrogen fuel cell technology is absolutely huge. In a short amount of time we could see hydrogen powering huge buildings such as airports and shopping centres as well as small vehicles and even mobile phones.
The benefits are obvious, implement a sustainable fuel type today and we could improve the environment tomorrow. 80% of forklift trucks total emissions occur during operation. If Doosan can implement a way of reducing this altogether, the possibilities are endless.