A consortium called HyTrucks has been formed by Hyzon Motors, Air Liquide and DATS 24 along with the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Duisburg. Hytrucks has pledged to deploy 1,000 H2 trucks and 25 H2 refuelling stations by 2025.
The HyTrucks partners note their initiative is one of the largest European projects to deploy zero-emission heavy-duty fleets in the most traffic-intensive areas of Europe. The 25 planned hydrogen refuelling stations will be distributed to create a reliable network between Antwerp, Rotterdam and Duisburg. The project aims to contribute to zero-emission trucking between the Netherlands, Belgium and western Germany.
In May this year, the Port of Antwerp said that as part of the Hytrucks initiative, 300 of the 1,000 H2 trucks would be stationed in Belgium, indicating that the initiative will start there. As yet, nothing has been made public about the share of hydrogen fuel cell trucks in Germany and the exact role of the Port of Duisburg. In announcing its part in the initiative, the Port of Antwerp noted that HyTrucks is considered an “important project of common European interest” (IPCEI) and thus qualifies for special funding at various levels.
“We are convinced of the central role hydrogen will play in the energy transition, especially in heavy-duty applications,” says Diederick Luijten, Vice President Hydrogen Energy Europe at consortium partner Air Liquide.
The initiative represents a significant and foreseeable demand for hydrogen trucks from Hyzon Motors. The company says: “The project has tapped Hyzon as a key supplier of hydrogen heavy trucks for the initiative.” Hyzon Motors CEO Craig Knight says “Collaboration will be central to this effort and key to scaling hydrogen mobility solutions worldwide so we’re excited to join the prominent members of HyTrucks and to supply our proven zero-emission heavy trucks.”
Hyzon Motors recently joined a project by the Dutch province of Utrecht to deploy a total of 1,800 hydrogen vehicles and up to ten hydrogen refuelling stations by 2025. The US-based company also says they are a member of a European consortium of automotive companies that plans to deploy up to 100,000 H2 trucks by 2030 as a common goal. The company did not give further information about this consortium.
Towards the end of last year, a new common-interest alliance from Daimler Truck, Iveco, OMV, Shell and the Volvo Group called H2Accelerate (H2A) announced that it will be aiming to help hydrogen trucks achieve a breakthrough across Europe. However, these European partners have far less ambitious goals than Hytrucks and Hyzon Motors: first in the second half of the 2020s, Hy2Accelerate will still only be aiming for four-digit production figures, “followed by a rapid increase in volume to over 10,000 H2 trucks”. Hyzon Motors is already looking at four-digit production figures right now.
Even besides the above-named projects in Utrecht, Hyzon Motors is looking at four-digit production figures in New Zealand, where Hiringa Energy is ordering a total of 1,500 fuel cell trucks over the next five years till 2026. This is one of the company’s collaborative initiatives involving actors from different parts of the Hydrogen ecosystem called the Hyzon Zero Carbon Alliance.
European Ports are not the only ports to be taking decisive steps towards hydrogen technology for port operations and heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles. Just last month, the Port of Los Angeles announced that it is now deploying five new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the opening of two hydrogen fueling stations with partners that include Toyota, Kenworth Trucks and Shell.
The Hytrucks initiative here in Europe is a significant one. Just one of the three ports in involved in the initiative – the Port of Rotterdam – is the largest seaport in Europe and the largest outside of Asia.
Including reporting from Cora Werwitzke
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