While businesses across the globe are being urged to reduce their usage of fossil fuels and look for alternative ways of using energy, the materials handling industry has turned to hydrogen fuel cells.

Hydrogen fuel cells provide excellent operational benefits. Helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, the power is highly efficient and results in zero emissions. Using this source of energy, the safety and costs involved with the storage and handling of toxic materials are no longer a concern.

That’s why Baumann Sideloaders decided to develop the H2GX60, a fully-working prototype and fuel cell powered sideloader, developed in conjunction with a German energy business. Now, the truck has been nominated for a FLTA award in the Environment category!

The concept was the first Italian-made fuel cell machine to receive European funding and has proved its capabilities with over 600 hours of field trials. “For us we will not be happy until we’ve had at least 10 times that amount,” comments Klaus, “but the case for hydrogen fuel use is still to be made, particularly in Europe where the cost of hydrogen is higher.”

The counter-argument suggests the answer is for businesses to self-generate hydrogen, produced on-site via wind or solar panels, or for hydrogen to be spun off from renewable sources where the fuel is, in effect, used as a storage medium.

Whichever way the market goes, some commentators say the hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to become increasingly popular around the world over the next decade.

And the Italian sideloader manufacturer appears well placed to continue its tradition of high quality and highly engineered machines. For what sideloaders may lack in terms of numbers, in comparison to counterbalance machines perhaps, they make up in importance to customers where they tend to play a more mission-critical role.