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Design and manufacture of plug and play kits to convert vehicles powered by fossil-fuel internal combustion engines to hydrogen internal combustion engines (HICE)

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20210726001
Publication Date: 26 July 2021


A Spanish consulting company in industry and automotive environment, aims to allow the deployment of a hydrogen  vehicles fleet as fast as possible, focusing on current vehicles and changing their power system into hydrogen internal combustion engine by using compressed H2. The option is cheap, would speed up the hydrogen vehicles and contribute to circular economy. The technology is offered under joint venture or research cooperation agreement with industry and/or academia.


Using already proven technology, the Spanish company is developing a kit to convert the usual fuel-combustion vehicles to hydrogen internal combustion engines (HICE) vehicles, whilst, keeping a big part of the original components. To make this happen, the company needs to create and train an international network of enabled workshops. According to the different types of engines, the company would provide a corresponding kit, program it, and deliver it to be installed.

The company is located in one Spanish region characterised for been strong in the automotive sector, so wants to take advantage of the local automotive synergies to accelerate the green energy transition in the region. There are several multinational automotive companies in a radius of 50km as well as their suppliers, which gives the opportunity of becoming a part of an already existing industrial infrastructure.

By economizing in the conversion of a fuel-combustion vehicle into HICE, the company aims to make the transition accessible and affordable to everyone, giving a second green-life to the polluting vehicle, facilitating the incorporation to the ecological transition to all social classes, speeding the emission reduction of greenhouse gases delivered from mobility.

The expertise in automobile compounds manufacturing and the electronic control unit (ECU) management technology allows the company to manufacture and to distribute the HICE kits, as well as to give an adequate level of customer service.

In order to create, test and reach the industrialisation phase of the HICE kit, the company needs to set up a small factory to manufacture the components, assemble them, and test this proposed technology and the future ones.

The Spanish company is looking for a partner to establish joint venture agreement or a research cooperation agreement. The partner sought must has industrial production capacity (preferably related to the automotive industry), new product development capacity and worldwide presence. The partner sough for the research cooperation agreement could be the academia or research & development institutions

Advantages and Innovations

Despite there are lots of possibilities using hydrogen as fuel, the company choose the most tested technology to establish the company in the market, the one who uses compressed H2 at 70 MPa. It is assumed that hydrogen kits are the highest gas injection technology type, with minimum leaks and able to support 70 MPa, this means that other gas-fuel (GNC) can be used instead, without damaging the system in case of an emergency (eg: absence of H2 dispenser).

Since regular fuel is liquid and the system is feeding with gas, the technology proposed has to use similar equipment when adapting engines to use liquid petrol gas (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of gasoline or diesel. Reprogram the ECU to work into optimal parameters will be also necessary.

Project development will draw upon deep learning technology. A framework will be established to gather and process data from prototypes, aiming to accelerate the development of the technology and build a special advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for H2 vehicles. All this data will help to create a market barrier against future competitors.

Besides ecological benefits, HICE has several advantages against traditional combustion engines such as:
• Zero emissions.
• Smother engine start
• 20% more power.
• Can work in higher rpm.

Compare to electric vehicles (EV), HICE has some other benefits:
• Longer range vehicles.
• Faster recharge.
• Bigger resistance to climate.
• Lower pollutant/toxic components.

When compared to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), the benefits of HICE are:
• Cheaper.
• Easier to dispose of.
• Higher versatile.
• Bigger resistance to climate.
• Lower pollutant/toxic components.

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Requested partner

Joint venture agreement
- Type: industries.
- Activity: automotive or gas storage and distribution sector.
- Role: develop a new entity to contribute in terms of equity to the design and manufacture of plug and play kits of hydrogen internal combustion engines (HICE)

Research cooperation agreement
- Type: research organization and academia.
- Activity: automotive, H2 storage and renewable energy research experience.
- Role: work together on the exploratory research and development of the hydrogen internal combustion engines (HICE) kits and plugs.

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