For an ambitious goal of a mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe, Daimler Truck, IVECO, OMV, Shell and Volvo Group teamed up to work together with a project called H2Accelerate (H2A).
They believe that hydrogen is an indispensable fuel for the decarbonisation of the truck sector, as a growing number of governments and businesses have announced a common vision of a net-zero emissions energy system.
They plan a large-scale roll-out of hydrogen-fuelled trucks which is expected to create new industries: zero-carbon hydrogen production facilities, large-scale hydrogen distribution systems, a network of high-capacity refuelling stations for liquid and gaseous hydrogen and the production of the hydrogen-fuelled trucks.
“The prize is clear. By boosting scale in a big way, hydrogen-fuelled trucks will need to become available to customers at or below the cost of owning and operating a diesel truck today,” said Elisabeth Brinton, Executive Vice President for New Energies at Shell. “This means truck customers will need to have access to a fully zero-emissions vehicle with a similar refuelling time, range and cost range compared to the vehicles in use today. To achieve this ambition a clear regulatory framework is needed, including policies addressing the supply of hydrogen, hydrogen-fuelled trucks, refuelling infrastructure and consumer incentives in a coordinated way.”
“This unprecedented collaboration is an important milestone for driving forward the right framework conditions for establishing a mass market for hydrogen-based trucking,” added Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck.
H2A believes that in the upcoming decade the synchronised investments in this specific sector will create the conditions for the mass market roll-out of hydrogen-fuelled heavy-duty transportation, which will contribute to the net-zero emissions included in the European Green Deal.
In the beginning, the hydrogen-fuelled truck fleets are expected to operate on a regional base, along European high-capacity corridors with good refuelling station coverage. H2A plans the roll-out of hundreds of trucks and the deployment of more than 20 high-capacity stations. For around 2030, the corridors will be interconnected to build a truly pan-European network to make a truly Europe-wide coverage, with many high-capacity stations and more than 10,000 trucks.
In the first period, the public sector’s support will also be required. The members of H2A plan to seek funding for early pre-commercial projects and parallel they will negotiate with policymakers and regulators to achieve a supporting policy environment which will help to turn the subsequent scale-up into volume manufacturing and to deploy a Europe-wide refuelling network.