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The case for retrofitting existing vehicles to alternative fuels – PHINIA

– Todd Anderson, CTO, PHINIA

As the automotive industry accelerates towards a more sustainable landscape, the imperative to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions stands at its core. Embracing cleaner alternatives to traditional methods of powering vehicles is a key part of the roadmap to a sustainable future, and retrofitting vehicles with alternative fuel solutions represents a beneficial step in this direction.

Not only does retrofitting mean trading traditional, emission-heavy fuels for more sustainable alternatives, but it also cuts back on manufacturing costs and the overall carbon footprint of vehicle manufacturing. Retrofitting can also extend the lifespan of existing vehicles by enabling older models to run in alignment with evolving environmental regulations.

Hydrogen is just one of these promising alternatives to traditional fuels, and Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2ICE) solutions are becoming an increasingly viable option in rapidly reducing carbon emissions as required by the latest CO2 targets. Hydrogen has a higher gravimetric energy density compared to conventional fuels. In combustion that provides adequate power to deliver similar vehicle performance to diesel or gasoline vehicles, without the associated carbon emissions.

An H2ICE retrofitted engine does not require the additional weight associated with battery electric vehicles, an inherent advantage, leading to an overall lighter engine system. This enables hydrogen-powered vehicles to handle heavier loads over longer periods and in adverse environmental conditions, which is particularly significant for larger vehicles.

Retrofitting a hydrogen system into an older vehicle is a much more feasible task than trying to implement vehicle changes via batteries. Retrofits of this kind can be done using most of the same components, processes and tools as a typical combustion engine, meaning this alternative could be rolled out more quickly and on a wider scale. Retrofitting provides an opportunity to convert existing vehicles, including the cherished classics, into more sustainable modes of transportation without compromising on power and the overall drive.

1976 Jeep Cherokee retrofit

PHINIA recently partnered with GCK Group and Solution F to retrofit a 1976 Jeep Cherokee with a H2ICE system. This is a great example of how hydrogen fuel solutions can be utilized for different automotive applications.

The 1976 Jeep Cherokee is a large vehicle with a hefty diesel engine to match, contributing to its larger carbon footprint. Our work with our partners perfectly demonstrates the possibility of converting beloved older models into more sustainable options and exemplifies the viability of retrofit options to contribute to combustion engine decarbonization.

https://www.phinia.com/aftermarket

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