Five major European companies spanning various segments of cargo transportation have come together under the H2Accelerate programme. The aim of this programme is to create conditions which will allow large scale roll out of Hydrogen fueled commercial vehicles. Three of the partners are trucks manufacturers, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo, which will develop and offer technologies which will drive these trucks. Shell New Energy is looking after the Hydrogen production using zero carbon processes. OMV on its part will look after the distribution and availability of Hydrogen fuel.
The plan is to help European governments achieve the target of a zero carbon economy by 2050. Under the H2A programme, these companies will work with governments and willing companies to set up regional clusters where hydrogen based cargo movement can happen. This will include setting up high capacity hydrogen fuelling stations. Later, these regional clusters will be connected with each other to create a pan European hydrogen network. This network will allow seamless movement of hydrogen powered vehicles carrying cargo across Europe.
H2A programme aims at creating new industries like 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.
Phase 1 of the programme envisages rolling out 100s of trucks which will be refuelled across more than 20 high capacity hydrogen stations. They aim to prove the high capacity station concepts in selective clusters.
As part of Phase 2 of the programme, which is expected to start in the second half of the 2020s, the programme aims to deliver an put 1000s of hydrogen fuelled trucks on the road. They intend to rapidly increase the numbers to more than 10,000 trucks. This phase will also cover all the major European corridors with the high capacity stations to allow seamless movement of goods.
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.