In a joint effort to promote climate-friendly heavy transport across Europe, leading truck manufacturers including Daimler Truck, Volvo Group, and Iveco have partnered with researchers to support the H2Accelerate Trucks research project.
Spearheaded by SINTEF, a Norwegian research institute, the project aims to introduce 150 hydrogen-powered haulage trucks onto European roads starting next year.
Under the H2Accelerate Trucks initiative, these trucks will be equipped with fuel cells, providing emission-free operation. Simultaneously, eight hydrogen filling stations will be established along the haulage routes to ensure uninterrupted refueling options for the hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Steffen Møller-Holst, Vice President for the marketing of hydrogen technology at SINTEF and a long-time advocate for hydrogen technologies, describing it as a gamechanger, adding this undertaking will generate vital insights for scaling up sustainable energy systems, not only in Europe but also in Norway. He will be leading the coordination of the H2Accelerate Trucks project.
Møller-Holst emphasised the project would facilitate the synchronised advancement of cutting-edge truck technology and the necessary infrastructure. Furthermore, it will enable numerous European businesses to achieve their emission-free transport goals, aligning with their climate change mitigation ambitions.
The overarching objective of the project is to establish a platform that can support the annual manufacturing of thousands of hydrogen-powered haulage trucks. During the initial phase, the trucks will have carrying capacities of up to 44 tonnes and a range between 600 and 1000 kilometers.
The Norwegian experience in hydrogen technology will play a crucial role in the project’s success. SINTEF has been actively involved in research and development within the field for the past three decades. Møller-Holst noted that SINTEF has coordinated or participated in approximately 35 EU-funded projects related to hydrogen technologies, ranging from technology and concept development to manufacturing upscaling and market implementation.
SINTEF’s previous projects include collaborating with grocery wholesalers ASKO Midt-Norge, enabling them to become the first haulage company in Scandinavia to power its trucks using hydrogen. ASKO produces the hydrogen fuel using electricity generated by solar panels installed on its buildings.
The consortium involved in the H2Accelerate Trucks project includes energy companies Shell, Everfuel, and TotalEnergies, as well as consultancy firm Element Energy, and research institutes SINTEF and VTT based in Finland. The consortium was awarded EUR 30 million in EU funds as part of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.