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Major automakers teamed up with OMV and Shell to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks.
Iveco, Daimler Truck AG, OMV, Shell and the Volvo Group have signed the collaboration agreement H2Accelerate(H2A), under which they will team up to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe.
The participants of H2Accelerate believe that hydrogen is an essential fuel for the complete decarbonisation of the truck sector.
Achieving a large-scale roll-out of hydrogen fuelled trucks is expected to create new industries: zero-carbon hydrogen production facilities, large-scale hydrogen distribution systems, a network of high-capacity refuelling stations for liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and the production of the hydrogen fuelled trucks.
H2A participants believe that synchronised investments across the sector during the 2020s will create the conditions for the mass market roll-out of hydrogen fuelled heavy duty transportation which is required to meet the European ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.
The decade long scale-up is expected to begin with groups of customers willing to make an early commitment to hydrogen-based trucking. These fleets are expected to operate in regional clusters and along European high-capacity corridors with good refuelling station coverage. During the decade, these clusters can then be interconnected to build a truly pan-European network.
Throughout the scale up, support from the public sector will be required. Under H2Accelerate, the participants expect to work together to seek funding for early pre-commercial projects during the first phase of the roll-out. In parallel, the participants will engage with policy makers and regulators to encourage a policy environment which will help support the subsequent scale up into volume manufacturing for hydrogen trucks and a Europe-wide refuelling network for zero carbon hydrogen fuel.
Gerrit Marx, President Commercial & Specialty Vehicles at CNH Industrial, stated: “The widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel-cell technology in heavy-duty transport is a function of the necessary infrastructure. We also need very concrete projects to demonstrate with hauliers and other stakeholders in the industry that this solution is financially and operationally viable. The ground breaking H2Accelerate collaboration will create the conditions for this to happen and accelerate the transition to zero-emission transport.”
Meanwhile, Elisabeth Brinton, Executive Vice President for New Energies at Shell said, “The prize is clear. By boosting scale in a big way, hydrogen fuelled trucks will need to become available to customers at or below the cost of owning and operating a diesel truck today. This means truck customers will need to have access to a fully zero emissions vehicle with a similar refuelling time, range and cost range compared to the vehicles in use today. To achieve this ambition a clear regulatory framework is needed, including policies addressing the supply of hydrogen, hydrogen fuelled trucks, refuelling infrastructure and consumer incentives in a coordinated way.”
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