DB Schenker getting ready to commercialise hydrogen trucks
DB Schenker, the European leading road freight carrier, is planning to transform its linehaul services. To this end, it will test the possibilities of a hydrogen-powered truck on several routes. If the trials are successful and the network of hydrogen refuelling stations is well-developed in Europe, the Germany-based company is ready to upscale the use of the hydrogen heavy goods vehicles.
By the end of 2022, DB Schenker will receive its first fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powered by hydrogen. The Hyzon-made HGV of the Hymax series, which was developed for the European market, will be delivered by hylane, the Germany-based rental startup. In early 2023, the road hauling company will test the vehicle on some of its routes. Afterwards, DB Schenker is getting ready to commercialise the use of hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles in the third quarter of 2023. “The progress made here will depend on factors such as hydrogen infrastructure and market acceptance,” the road freight carrier noted.
Being committed to its strategic goal to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040, DB Schenker is regarding hydrogen trucks as another way to decarbonise its operations. The company has succeeded in applying electric trucks for short-haul and urban logistics. Meanwhile, the FCEVs can be more efficient on long-haul routes compared to battery-electric vehicles. “The maximum payload is higher, the range is greater, and the refuelling process comparable to Diesel,” DB Schenker stated. According to Hyzon Motors, its hydrogen tractor unit with a maximum weight of 27 tonnes can travel at a distance of 400-500 kilometres.
New truck-trailer combination
The planned tests of the Hyzon Hymax hydrogen truck were designed in line with another significant goal, namely for developing a swap-body truck-trailer combination to carry our standard swap-body type with a length of 7,820 millimetres. “This is new in the market and will allow us to decarbonise without any loss of efficiency in our land transport network,” said Wolfgang Janda, executive vice president and head of network & linehaul management at DB Schenker.