The French vehicle manufacturer Gaussin is cooperating with fuel cell specialist Plug Power to bring hydrogen fuel cell logistics vehicles to market. Gaussin also announced the commercial launch of a range of vehicles for use at airports.
Gaussin and the New York-based hydrogen fuel cell specialist Plug Power are aiming to offer a range of fuel cell vehicles from terminal tractors to driverless transport systems. The vehicles will be equipped with the “ProGen” fuel cells produced by Plug Power from the beginning of 2021.
The French-American duo says their aim is to address new freight markets, including logistics centres, seaports and airports in Europe, the United States and worldwide. Plug Power offers fuel cell drive units in the power range from 30 to 125 kW, which were “designed for OEMs like Gaussin to integrate into zero-emission vehicles”. In addition, the American company will provide solutions for the production of green hydrogen via PEM electrolysis.
“Our partnerships with OEM leaders, like Gaussin, allow us to drive green hydrogen solutions in the United States, Europe and beyond,” said Plug Power chief Andy Marsh. Conversely, the cooperation with Plug Power helps to further penetrate the market for sustainable freight transport vehicles, adds Gaussin CEO Christophe Gaussin. “Hydrogen is a critical global fuel solution.”
Meanwhile, Gaussin has also announced the market launch of several vehicles for use at airports under the name of Rendez-vous (RDV), which can be battery-electric or hydrogen-powered. These vehicles are designed to transport a wide variety of baggage containers and freight pallets at speeds of up to 40 kph and are equipped with an automatic loading and unloading platform. The vehicles can be moved partly manned and partly unmanned.
Gaussin foresees the offer addressing the increasingly lucrative air freight transport industry, whose growth is being boosted by the current boom in online shopping.
At the end of May, the French company had already announced intentions to develop a purely electrically powered tanker truck for aircraft together with oil company Total. The prototype comprises two tankers, each with a capacity of 30 tons of fuel, and is to be deployed on the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse. The lithium-ion batteries for the vehicle will be supplied by Total’s French subsidiary Saft. According to the partners, an entire fleet is to be built in future on the basis of the tanker prototype.
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