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Germany awarding €24.4M to 3 projects for fuel cell and battery-electric powertrains for commercial vehicles

At the first Hydrogen General Assembly, Germany’s Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer announced €24.4 million in funding for three projects developing fuel cell and battery-electric drives for commercial vehicles.

We want to work towards zero emissions road logistics with alternative drives. That is why we are supporting companies in bringing sustainable drive technologies to market maturity and using them. The question is not whether, but rather when battery-electric and hydrogen drives will become competitive in road freight transport. We are actively tackling this issue, as around 90 percent of CO2 emissions in the transport sector come from road traffic, with trucks accounting for one third of this.

—Andreas Scheuer

Funded projects:

  • SeLv (Funding: around €16.9 million).The conversion of heavy-duty trucks to fuel cell drives is the focus of the RWTH Aachen project, which is manufacturer-independent, for old and new vehicles alike. A fuel cell-based modular drive is being developed to facilitate this.

  • HyLightCOM (Funding: around €5.7 million). The HyLightCOM project by Opel Automobile GmbH is developing a light commercial vehicle with a fuel cell drive and testing five prototypes as a basis for large-scale production from 2025.

  • Scale-e-Drive (Funding: around €1.8 million). In the project by the University of Kassel, supported by Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel, battery-electric commercial vehicles with a permitted weight of 3.5 and 7 tonnes are being developed and tested. Up to now there have been almost exclusively vehicles with combustion engines in this performance class.

Under Germany’s National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) the BMVI funds research and development as well as market activation measures. From 2021, around €80 million will be made available for the NIP annually. A further €1.6 billion are planned for the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy until 2024.

BMVI is planning technology-neutral funding for the purchase of buses, commercial vehicles and rail vehicles with alternative drives, including vehicles with hydrogen and fuel cell drives, along with the necessary refueling infrastructure for the vehicles.


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