Dubbed, HyCET (Hydrogen Combustion Engine Trucks) the project hopes to develop and test hydrogen trucks with combustion engines with an aim to demonstrate the suitability of the trucks for transport logistics.

Joining BMW are DEUTZ, DHL Freight, KEYOU, TotalEnergies Marketing Deutschland, and Volvo Group.

The four-year project hopes to develop two 18-tonne and two 40-tonne trucks with hydrogen combustion engines that will be tested by BMW Group and DEUTZ transport logistics.

Additionally, two new hydrogen refuelling station for heavy-duty vehicles will be built in Leipzig and Nuremberg, Germany, to facilitate the daily operation of the trucks.

According to the consortium, the project will have an investment volume of €19.5 ($18.6m), seeing €11.3m ($10.7m) funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), which has provided an additional €5.7m ($5.4m) in funding for the construction of the two refuelling stations.

Daniela Klucker, Parliamentary State Secretary to the BMDV, said, “Hydrogen technology offers us the chance to rethink mobility. In particular, the varied demands of transport logistics call for suitable responses. Hydrogen is a good energy-storage solution for climate-friendly transportation that can supplement battery-electric mobility.

“The HyCET project supported by us assesses the use of hydrogen combustion engine technology for the transport of heavy goods. In this way, the results obtained from real-life operation will contribute to competition between alternative drive train technologies in the field of logistics.”

H2 View understands, DEUTZ’s 7.8-litre hydrogen engine will be installed in an 18-tonne truck as part of the HyCET to demonstrate its practicality for mobile applications.

Read more: Deutz hydrogen engine ready for market

In cooperation with Volvo Group, KEYOU will develop a 13-litre hydrogen engine for the project, which will be integrated into two 40-tonne Volvo trucks, to be used by DHL Freight in transport logistics for BMW Group.

TotalEnergies will establish the two refuelling stations under the consortium, which will form an integral part of its intentioned to operate up to 150 hydrogen station in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France by 2030.

Commenting on the project, Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice-President Production Network and Supply Chain Management at BMW Group, said, “As the consortium leader for the project, the BMW Group is not only showing its pioneering spirit, but also its understanding of how to think about sustainability across all areas of the company. This includes testing technologies in transport logistics at an early stage and adapting products and infrastructure to new requirements.”

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