International express service provider DHL Express recently announced that they have started testing hydrogen-fueled trucks for the long haul, in an effort to make day-to-day operations more sustainable.
Together with its customer Apple, DHL pilots the vehicle between Breda, the Netherlands, and Brussels, Belgium, as part of the Interreg NW Europe program H2-Share, coordinated by WaterstofNet.
The program’s goal is to facilitate the development of low-carbon heavy-duty vehicles on hydrogen for logistic applications and gain practical experience in different regions. It creates a transnational living lab and basis for the development of the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle industry.
“In a globalized world, sustainable and clean fuels are essential for climate-neutral logistics. Not only for sea and air freight but also line-haul road freight, as these help reduce CO2 emissions,” says Alberto Nobis, CEO DHL Express Europe.
“That’s why we engage not only in the electrification of our fleet but also invest in the development of alternative drive systems for very long ranges. The project shows that we can achieve truly emission-free logistics in Europe if we join forces and build on experience.”
While battery-electric trucks can operate efficiently within last-mile delivery, fuels from renewable energies such as hydrogen are essential for zero-emission line-haul.
Due to their vast potential, DHL Express is now testing a heavy-duty vehicle, with a fuel cell range extender from VDL. The truck, operated by Dutch Nassau Sneltransport, covers a daily distance of around 200 km, running the cross-border route between the Netherlands and Belgium.
The truck refuels on a daily basis in Breda at a mobile fuel station from Wystrach as part of the project. It transports deliveries of DHL Express’ customer Apple. During the piloting phase, up to 350 tons of CO2 can be saved with the new technology.
In line with its Sustainability Roadmap, Deutsche Post DHL Group is heavily investing in the use of alternative fuels. Hydrogen is opening up a new market and can contribute to green transport solutions. Insights from the project help evaluate the potential of this fuel alternative and support decision-making processes.