The Connecting Europe Facility will fund the deployment of eight heavy-duty hydrogen refuelling stations and the Clean Hydrogen Partnership will fund a 150 fuel cell truck project. These projects will enable trucks and refuelling equipment to be tested under real-world conditions, and are expected to be a crucial step towards the mass commercialisation of the technology.
The €30m funding signals continued European support for the scale-up of zero emission, hydrogen-fuelled truck deployment.
The H2Accelerate TRUCKS project is an innovative collaboration among three of the leading global OEMs (Daimler Truck, Volvo Group, and Iveco Group), Finnish research institution VTT, International Road Transport Union (IRU), Romanian National Union of Road Transporters (UNTRR), Italian (Federazione Italiana Autotrasportatori Professionali – FIAP), Austrian (WKÖ) associations, and Element Energy France (an ERM Group company).
The project will be coordinated by SINTEF, Norway’s leading research institute on hydrogen technologies and is also supported by energy infrastructure providers, including Shell, TotalEnergies, and Everfuel.
Funding the deployment of 150 fuel cell trucks across Europe by the mid-to-late 2020s, this project will allow development of the technology towards series manufacturing of the vehicles by the three major OEMs in the second half of the decade. The trucks to be deployed in the first stage are expected to be either 4×2 or 6×2, with up to 44 tonne capacity and long ranges of at least 600km.
The funding granted by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership of €30M will enable the coordinated roll-out of heavy-duty, zero-emission vehicles fuelled by green hydrogen, bringing zero emission targets for transport closer. The trucks will be deployed with trusted customers of the OEMs and tested in real world conditions over several years in order to demonstrate and assess their technical and economic performance.
Accelerating a hydrogen trucking ecosystem
Results from the project will be used to set the scene for large scale fuel cell truck deployment in the coming years and Bart Biebuyck, executive director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, said of the announcement: “We are delighted to provide funding support to the H2Accelerate TRUCKS project, a flagship project which will pave the way for the commercialisation of Europe’s hydrogen trucking system.
“It is especially auspicious that these 150 vehicles deployed within this project will be supported by an expanding network of hydrogen refuelling stations, which will include the H2Accelerate Inaugural Station Deployment project that has been selected to receive EU funding support. Through both projects, we can witness first-hand how different funding programmes can work together to accelerate the realisation of a hydrogen trucking ecosystem in Europe.”
Giandomenico Fioretti, head of alternative propulsion business development at IVECO Truck Business Unit, said of the TRUCKS project: “Iveco Group has a history of being among the first to hit unchartered territory, in fact we have been pioneer of alternative propulsions for more than twenty years. Hydrogen is an exciting energy vector for the sustainable future of heavy-duty vehicles, as this technology offers the best trade-off between autonomy range, payload and recharging time.
“Today we are proud of the work we will undertake with our partners in the ground-breaking project, with the support of Clean Hydrogen Partnership funding, to provide a tangible contribution in paving the way for the technical and commercial viability of long-haul hydrogen trucking.”
H2Acclerate Inaugural Station Deployment
The H2Accelerate Inaugural Station Deployment (ISD) project will support hydrogen trucks with a preliminary network of eight high-capacity, high reliability hydrogen refuelling stations and is benefiting from the success of the TRUCKS project.
As announced in September, this project was successful in its bid to the Connecting Europe Facility Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Funding call for funding to support the deployment of eight heavy duty hydrogen refuelling stations in France and the Netherlands positioned along key TEN-T transport corridors, allowing easy access for truck end users driving on major highways.
The ISD comes as the first in a series of planned deployments of hydrogen refuelling stations as part of Phase 1 of the H2Accelerate collaboration. H2Accelerate infrastructure members intend to complement this initial network with the further deployment of stations to service the growing fleet of hydrogen fuelled heavy-duty vehicles, including those deployed by the H2Accelerate TRUCKS project.
Synchronised deployments lead to better end user experience and business cases for infrastructure providers and truck manufacturers alike and the funding will enable the synchronised deployment of both heavy-duty vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.
This will contribute to a growing network of funded projects propelling the hydrogen value chain, enabling the development of relevant technologies and standards, paving the way for a wider roll-out and the eventual industrialisation of the hydrogen trucking sector.