Haulage truck and fuel manufacturers have joined forces with researchers to make heavy transport across Europe more climate-friendly. And all thanks to having SINTEF ‘behind the wheel’.
The first of a total of 150 hydrogen-powered haulage trucks will start rolling on European roads next year. Some of the biggest truck manufacturers in the world, such as Daimler Truck, Volvo Group and Iveco, have come together to support a research project called H2Accelerate Trucks.
The project involves putting 150 emission-free trucks on the road, all powered by fuel cells. At the same time, a total of eight hydrogen filling stations are being built along the trucks’ haulage routes.
A key project on the road to zero emissions
“A roll out of this size makes the H2Accelerate Trucks project a real gamechanger”, says Steffen Møller-Holst at SINTEF.
Møller-Holst has been involved in the development of hydrogen technologies since 1990 and believes that this project will provide crucial learning on which to base the upscaling of sustainable energy systems not only in Europe, but in Norway as well. Møller-Holst is a Vice President for the marketing of hydrogen technology at SINTEF, and will be coordinating the project.
“This project offers us an opportunity to coordinate the development of ultra-modern truck technology with its necessary infrastructure”, says Møller-Holst. “It will enable us to meet the climate change mitigation ambitions held by innumerable European businesses who are looking to achieve emission-free transport of their goods”, he says.
The aim of the project is to create a platform for increasing manufacturing capacity to thousands of haulage trucks each year. The trucks put into operation during the first phase of the project will have carrying capacities of up to 44 tonnes and ranges of between 600 and 1000 kilometres.
Norwegian experience will be crucial
The project has its roots in SINTEF’s focused efforts in research and development in the field of hydrogen technologies during the last three decades.
“Altogether, SINTEF has acted as a coordinator for, or has been a partner in, about 35 EU-funded projects covering everything from technology and concept development to the upscaling of manufacturing and market implementation processes that we are involved in today”, says Møller-Holst. “This is why we have wanted to act as coordinator of the H2Accelerate Trucks project”, he says.
One of SINTEF’s projects has made the grocery wholesalers ASKO Midt-Norge into the first haulage company in Scandinavia to power its trucks using hydrogen. ASKO produces the fuel using electricity generated by solar panels mounted on the company’s buildings.
The energy companies Shell, Everfuel and TotalEnergies, the consultancy Element Energy, and the research institutes SINTEF and VTT (based in Finland) are also members of a project consortium that has been awarded EU funds amounting to EUR 30 million as part of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.