Recently I had the pleasure of having an email conversation with Mathilde Perreux from about their invention of the world’s first hydrogen-powered riding lawnmower. Pictured is the riding lawnmower and right above the seat in the white enclosure is where the hydrogen tanks are contained.
Here is our conversation:
HydroKevin (HK): Why did your company decide to build a hydrogen-powered lawnmower?
Mathilde Perreux (MP): A usual lawnmower is a tool which pollutes a lot. There is actually a very famous report from California Air Resources Board about the pollution which is 93 times higher than a auto per liter of gas. Electrical lawnmower with battery is not so useful from a practical point of view than lawn mower using internal combustion engine, so for MAHYTEC this tool is a wonderful way to show how hydrogen can change the perspectives. We therefore decided to use internal combustion which is very efficient with hydrogen and produces no pollution.
HK: What kind of engine or fuel cell does it use?
MP: We use internal combustion engine, bi-cylinder 500 cm3, 10 kW. We have modified the autoburetor in order to get direct injection system of hydrogen. There is no fuel cell into this system in order to have a lower price. All the necessary hydrogen is stored into our hydride tanks (solid storage at low pressure ~3bar). These tanks provide an autonomy of about 3 to 4 hours depending on the conditions.
HK: Do you intend to sell this to the public or is this only for demonstration purposes?
MP: Yes, we are intending to sell it and so we are looking for partners for industrial or financial support. The prototypes has already been sold to a town for their professional gardeners in Dole, in Jura (France).
I’ve talked about hydrogen-powered lawnmowers in the past so I’m not sure if the MaHyTec is the first riding H2 mower or not. But, one thing I do know is that it’s a step in the right direction. Right now hydrogen powered forklifts are replacing battery and diesel powered forklifts across the country and I would like to see a movement in lawnmowers doing the same.
This may not make sense for the average homeowner, but for commercial landscapers who wants to go even greener, hydrogen-powered lawnmowers make a lot of sense.