Milestone towards the decarbonisation of the heavy-duty industry in Europe revealed

November 23, 2020

During the European Hydrogen Week, 62 parties have recently joined hands to jointly contribute to the decarbonisation of heavy-duty transport. OEMs, fuel cell and hydrogen technology providers, refuelling infrastructure and hydrogen providers, truck operators, road freight services users and related industry associations, intend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution to establish a cleaner and more sustainable freight transport system.

Image: Daimler 2020. Daimler recently presented its new strategy for the electrification of its vehicles, including long-haul transport vehicles. Daimler presented the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 truck as a concept vehicle.

The deployment of 100,000 fuel cell trucks and 1,500 hydrogen refueling stations

 

In the joint coalition statement, the signatories have emphasized the importance fuel cell heavy-duty trucks in the logistics industry and how they can serve as a trailblazer for hydrogen applications by showcasing the environmental and commercial benefits in Europe.

The parties have set a joint target for the transport sector in Europe: to deploy up to 100,000 fuel cell heavy-duty trucks from 2030 onwards as well as up to 1,500 hydrogen refuelling stations, which is also highlighted in the study supported by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The signatories intend to do so by cross-industry collaboration, introducing new products and business models, by using fuel cell trucks for logistics service offerings and by establishing the respective hydrogen refuelling networks and fuel supply chain to kick-start and speed-up their deployment.

The parties involved expressed their commitment and willingness to contribute to the decarbonisation of the European transport sector by heavily investing in the development, production and deployment of fuel cell heavy-duty trucks, creating demand for large amounts of green hydrogen and building and operating the respective hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

To achieve the necessary scale effects and to reach expected cost reductions through technical optimisations until fuel cell trucks and hydrogen reach competitive market prices, they intend to support commercialisation by a concerted push to the market.

The EU's objective to reach climate-neutrality by 2050 and the transport sector

 

The EU has deepened their plans for the energy transition and the fight against climate change by setting the objective to reach climate-neutrality by 2050 as part of the EU Green Deal. The transport sector plays a key role in the achievement of these climate objectives. Currently, over 75% of all freight transport today relies on road transport, contributing signficiantly to the emissions of greenhouse gases. The EU has called upon the transport and logistic industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050.

This way, stakeholders in the transport and logistic industry need to join hands to embark on a joint decarbonisation mission. Especally heavy-duty freight vehicles/trucks need to become carbon-neutral as soon as possible. Fuel cell and hydrogen heavy-duty trucks thus represent a very promising zero-emission alternative, particularily in the long-haul segment. Large-scale deployment of zero-emission heavy-duty fuel cell trucks play a key role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while they still fulfill the operational requirements of heavy-duty road transport in terms of range, refuelling time and payload capacity.

For further information, read the full coalition statement here.

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