HOW DOES DEUTZ DESIGN INNOVATIVE DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES? BOARD OF MANAGEMENT MEMBERS DR. SEBASTIAN C. SCHULTE AND DR. ING. MARKUS MÜLLER TELL US HOW.
> Dr.-Ing. Markus Müller, member of the Board of Management with responsibility for technology and sales and Dr. Sebastian C. Schulte, CEO (from left)
As we stand on the threshold of the post-fossil age, and with sustainability goals to meet, how is DEUTZ positioning itself in this new world?
Sebastian C. Schulte, CEO: DEUTZ manufactures drives that power vehicles and machinery around the world – on construction sites, on roads, and in agriculture. That is our core business and our passion. Our engines are used in sectors that are still generating significant levels of carbon emissions. We see huge potential for change here, which is why we are working with our customers to make our product ecosystem carbon-neutral. Our aim is to achieve net zero by 2050 by producing sustainable engines, offering intelligent maintenance, and developing innovative solutions. We ensure the world keeps moving. We take our responsibility for future generations and the environment very seriously. That is important for the company, and for me personally as a father of three small children.
How big a task is transforming mobility?
Sebastian C. Schulte, CEO: It is a huge task. But we also see the transformation of mobility as a huge opportunity to join forces with our customers and bring about change. Some sectors have already reached a consensus on how to achieve net zero. In the automotive sector, for example, electrification appears to be the way forward. For engines like ours that move large loads and are in continuous use, a number of different technologies may be possible – or even a combination of them.
Which technologies is DEUTZ looking at in particular?
Markus Müller, member of the Board of Management with responsibility for technology and sales: We think it is still uncertain what a zeroemissions truck, excavator, or tug might look like. DEUTZ is strong on innovation and is pursuing a technology-neutral approach, and we have already achieved quite a lot. The addition of subsidiaries Torqeedo and FUTAVIS has significantly expanded our E-DEUTZ product portfolio, and together we have brought products to market very quickly. A prime example is our PowerTree rapid charging system, which provides a reliable supply of electricity and enables the emission-free deployment of machinery anywhere and at any time.
Is hydrogen really the silver bullet for the new era of mobility?
Markus Müller: Despite our technology-neutral approach, we believe that hydrogen combustion technology has huge potential as it enables a wide variety of zero-emission applications. Hydrogen combustion engines also have other advantages, because we can draw on existing expertise and technologies and use supply chains and production facilities that are already in place. The engines also excel in terms of their carbon footprint as they generate very few or even zero carbon emissions when they use blue or green hydrogen. And exhaust aftertreatment also prevents any significant nitrogen oxide emissions. A further plus point is that the engine is the same size as the equivalent diesel variant, making it easy to switch them over. Refueling times are also similar.
Are any pilot projects already using the DEUTZ hydrogen engine?
Markus Müller: Yes, we are working on several pilot projects. The best-known one is our collaboration with RheinEnergie, a local utility company in Cologne. We also recently announced our participation in the HyCET project, in which we will be installing a hydrogen engine in an 18-tonne truck. And that’s just the beginning. There are still challenges to overcome in terms of sourcing hydrogen and establishing the refueling infrastructure, but we have agreed new strategic alliances in this area too. It is vital that we focus on the entire ecosystem if we want to win customers over with our solutions.
The DEUTZ TCG 7.8 H2 is an internal combustion engine. How do you see the future of this drive technology?
Sebastian C. Schulte: We need the internal combustion engine in order to keep the world moving, at least for the transition to the post-fossil era. But synthetic fuels can extend its usefulness far beyond that. It is important to us that we make the best and cleanest engines for our customer, and that we can offer them essential services such as maintenance and overhaul. To achieve this, we are working closely with OEMs and actively contributing to the consolidation of the industry. We are also further expanding our service offering.
Markus Müller: Our diesel engines are state-of- the- art and already very clean. All DEUTZ engines are EU Stage V certified. And we continue to invest in innovations such as the new TCD 3.9, which had its world premiere at the DEUTZ DAYS in October. All of our engines are certified for biofuels and/or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). The simple switch to one of these fuels reduces carbon emissions immediately, and at a low cost. This is a sustainable approach that uses existing engines and infrastructure without the need for new investment.
DEUTZ AG is a company with a long tradition and the world’s oldest engine manufacturer. How can it make the shift to zero-carbon mobility a success?
Sebastian C. Schulte: Innovation has been one of our strengths ever since Nicolaus August Otto invented the world’s first four-stroke engine and our company was founded. This provides an excellent basis for change.
Markus Müller: I totally agree. DEUTZ is synonymous with innovative strength and an open approach to new technologies, and our engines point to the future. That was the case with our first four-stroke engine and is still the case with our hydrogen engine. We will be one of the first drive specialists to launch full production of hydrogen engines.
Sebastian C. Schulte: We are also aware that we cannot bring about this shift on our own, which is why we are relying on strategic alliances and partnerships within the ecosystem and leveraging our long-standing relationships with our customers and suppliers. We are confident that openness and the ability to consider a wide range of views can help us to progress. Our aim is to create value for our customers, fulfill our responsibilities as a corporate citizen, and achieve our net zero target. For our customers, we want to ensure that the world keeps moving.