H2Accelerate confirmed that participants in the program have secured funding for two of its main initiatives: the construction of eight hydrogen refueling stations for large vehicles under the Connecting Europe Facility, and the purchase of 150 fuel cell trucks under a project funded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership. These projects will enable the trucks and refueling infrastructure to be tested under real-world conditions, and will be an important step toward mass commercialization of the technology being deployed.
Collaboration of three global leaders
The H2Accelerate TRUCKS offering has won funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, signaling continued European support for the deployment of hydrogen-powered zero-emission trucks on an increasing scale.
The H2Accelerate TRUCKS project is being implemented as an innovative collaboration between three leading global manufacturers (Daimler Truck, Volvo Group and Iveco Group), the Finnish research institute VTT, the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the Romanian National Union of Road Transporters (UNTRR), the Italian Federazione Italiana Autotrasportatori Professionali (FIAP), the Austrian association WKÖ and Element Energy France (an ERM Group company). The project will be coordinated by SINTEF, Norway's leading institute for hydrogen technologies. H2Accelerate TRUCKS is also supported by energy infrastructure suppliers, including Shell, TotalEnergies and Everfuel.
The project will fund the rollout of 150 fuel cell-powered trucks across Europe between 2025 and 2030, and will contribute to the development of the technology necessary for the three leading manufacturers to launch series production of such vehicles in the second half of this decade. The first phase will include up to 44-ton vehicles in 4x2 or 6x2 configurations, with a range of at least 600 kilometers.
30 million euros in funding
The €30 million in funding awarded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership will enable the coordinated deployment of heavy-duty, zero-emission vehicles powered by cleanly produced hydrogen, thereby moving closer to the goal of zero-emission transportation. The cars will be put into service with selected customers of the respective brands and tested under real-world conditions for several years to demonstrate and evaluate the technical and economic efficiency of such propulsion. The results obtained in the project will serve as a basis for the deployment of fuel cell-powered trucks on a larger scale in the years to come.
- We are pleased to be able to provide financial support for the H2Accelerate TRUCKS project, a flagship project that will pave the way for the commercialization of hydrogen road transportation in Europe. As it happens, the 150 vehicles that will go into service under this project will use a growing network of hydrogen refueling stations, also being expanded under the H2Accelerate Inaugural Station Deployment project, which has received financial support from the EU. Using both projects as an example, we see how different funding programs can work together to accelerate the realization of a hydrogen road transport ecosystem in Europe - said Bart Biebuyck, executive director of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.
- This is not the first time that the Iveco Group has pioneered into uncharted territory - as it has for 20 years now with alternative propulsion. Hydrogen is a fascinating energy vector for a sustainable future for trucks. The technology offers the best compromise between range, payload and refueling time for the energy carrier. Today, together with our partners, we are proud to undertake the groundbreaking H2Accelerate TRUCKS project, and with the financial support of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, we are measurably participating in preparing the ground for the technical and commercial feasibility of long-haul hydrogen trucking - added Giandomenico Fioretti, business development director for the Alternative Drives segment at IVECO Truck.
Eight new refueling stations
Linked to the H2Accelerate TRUCKS project is the H2Accelerate Inaugural Station Deployment (ISD) project. As announced back in September 2022, this bid won the Connecting Europe Facility Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Funding competition, and the awarded funds will allow the construction of eight hydrogen refueling stations in France and the Netherlands.
Each of these stations will have a higher capacity (>1 ton/day) than currently operating public stations of this type. The highest level of availability is to be ensured by an N+1 arrangement, i.e., duplication of each piece of station equipment in case any of them fails. The stations will be built along key TEN-T transport corridors to make them as accessible as possible to drivers traveling on major highways.
The H2Accelerate ISD project is the first in a series of planned investments in the construction of hydrogen refueling stations that are being built in Phase 1 of the H2Accelerate collaboration. Those participating in the construction of the H2Accelerate infrastructure intend to continue the initiative in the future by building more stations along the transportation corridors connecting Scandinavia and northern Italy. The stations will serve a growing fleet of hydrogen trucks, including those operated by the H2Accelerate TRUCKS project.
The approval of project funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and the Connecting Europe Facility demonstrates the high degree of maturity of the plans and the strategic importance of developing the hydrogen road transport sector in Europe. The funding should enable synchronized deployment of both the trucks and their refueling infrastructure, thus eliminating the barriers usually encountered by pioneers engaging in such complex ventures. A dense network of projects funded from various sources will accelerate the construction of the entire hydrogen value chain.
Under H2Accelerate, it will be possible to synchronize the technological, geographic and temporal deployment of fuel cell trucks and hydrogen refueling infrastructure. This will ensure security of fuel supply for users and reduce the risk of large-scale investments for vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure providers. The associated development of technologies and standards will prepare the ground for the wider use of hydrogen trucks across Europe and ultimately the full industrialization of the hydrogen road transport sector.
H2Accelerate is a cooperative agreement between its participants in the following areas:
- soliciting public support for funding early pre-commercial projects to activate the market towards mass scale;
- communicating the technical and commercial feasibility of full-scale hydrogen trucking deployment;
- conducting discussions with politicians and regulators to encourage the introduction of policies to support sustainable and rapid deployment of the long-haul market for zero-emission trucks.