Interact Analysis has forecast that hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2 ICE) – which contribute to lowering carbon emissions – will be sold in 220,000 vehicles in the year 2035 alone.

The forecast came from recently published research by Interact Analysis, a provider of market research in automation, robotics, and commercial vehicles.

The market for H2 ICE is still emerging and exports of these engines will only really take off after 2030 and will be found mainly in trucks and heavy off-road equipment like loaders and excavators.

H2 ICE in the mining sector

Advantages of H2 ICE-powered vehicles

H2 ICEs are powered by hydrogen, a zero-carbon fuel that is also used in hydrogen cells to run EVs, and transfer high power. The engines have the capacity to power heavy-duty trucks and similar heavy vehicles. This is hugely useful given that these vehicles normally rely on burning a high amount of carbon-emitting fossil fuels to operate.

The engines themselves have technology comparable to that of diesel engines, making it fairly easy to switch over to them without a huge learning curve or the need for new production vehicles and design.

As well as this, the engines allow vehicles to operate using impure fuel, allow for speedy refuelling, and enable vehicles to work in environments with lots of dirt and dust.

They seem to be a perfect low-carbon solution for at least making the mining sector less dependent on carbon-emitting vehicles, helping it to achieve its green goals and ESG demands.


It’s predicted that H2 ICE won’t ever be as widespread as diesel or battery-electric vehicles (BEV) but will be a niche market, and not a competitive one.

This is because most of the world does not have any hydrogen infrastructure set up. Part of this is due to little awareness of the technology, and part of it is due to the expense of hydrogen fuel.

In addition to the high cost of hydrogen fuel is the price of the engines’ fuel tanks, although the engines themselves are not overly expensive.

These factors mean the development of hydrogen power technologies is likely to remain limited unless the cost of hydrogen goes down significantly.

It does not make economic sense to try and replace diesel or BEV with H2 ICE, as both are less pricey.


There will be customers for H2 ICE who will be willing to spend more on the technology to appear ahead of the curve with new technology, regardless of the less-than-ideal cost.

H2 ICEs are also able to go into certain areas where BEVs struggle, and so are a solution for companies that need to replace diesel vehicles with a low-carbon alternative due to ESG rules or other regulations, and for whom BEVs are not a viable option.

H2 in trucks is forecast to be the predominant H2 ICE technologies shipped due to the large market demand for trucks.

Seeking a recruitment partner for your next mining project? CA Mining provides a range of tailorable staffing solutions for companies with sites in Africa, Australia, Canada, and beyond.

Explore our recruitment services or get in touch to find out more.

Head to our job board to find the latest mining positions across the African continent, in Australia, and Canada.