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BMW Group to lead €19.5M HyCET project consortium on hydrogen combustion engine trucks

The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) approved the funding application for the consortium research project HyCET (Hydrogen Combustion Engine Trucks) led by the BMW Group. The other HyCET project partners are DEUTZ AG, DHL Freight GmbH, KEYOU GmbH, TotalEnergies Marketing Deutschland GmbH and Volvo Group.

The research project aims to demonstrate the sustainability potential of trucks with hydrogen combustion engines for transport logistics. The other issue for HyCET, alongside technology development, is the required infrastructure, such as publicly accessible hydrogen filling stations.

With its shorter filling times, high payload and versatility, combined with its attractive range, hydrogen is regarded as a promising fuel for transport logistics. The use of green hydrogen produced from renewable energies could thus enable CO2-free long-distance logistics in the future. Due to the low emissions from hydrogen combustion, the trucks are also considered as zero-emission vehicles under EU regulations.

The HyCET research project will have an investment volume of €19.5 million, of which €11.3 million will be funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). The BMDV is also providing an additional €5.7 million euros in funding for construction of two public hydrogen filling stations mainly for heavy goods traffic.

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.

—Daniela Kluckert, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport

The aim of the HyCET consortium is to develop two 18-tonne trucks and two 40-tonne trucks with hydrogen combustion engines that will be tested in regular BMW Group and DEUTZ transport logistics. Two new hydrogen filling stations including for heavy utility vehicles will be built in Leipzig and Nuremberg to facilitate daily operation of these trucks.

Not only will research into development and use of hydrogen trucks continue, but filling standards for utility vehicles and implementation of the necessary infrastructure will also be advanced. Since this is one of the first research projects in which vehicles of this class will drive in regular logistics traffic, the trucks will undergo a comprehensive technology assessment.

The project brings together expertise from different disciplines. As an end-user, the BMW Group defines key requirements for series introduction of hydrogen-powered trucks into its transport logistics at a later date. As the consortium leader, the company also sets the framework for successful project implementation and is managing pilot deployment of an 18-tonne truck at BMW Group Plant Leipzig, as well as coordinating the technology assessment, which will compare the advantages and disadvantages of the hydrogen combustion engine with other innovative drive-train concepts for trucks.

As one of the world’s leading engine manufacturers and a pioneer in the sustainable off-road sector, powertrain specialist DEUTZ has developed a 7.8-liter hydrogen engine. The initial application is already running successfully in a stationary generator. As part of the HyCET project, this engine will be installed in an 18-tonne truck to demonstrate its practicality for mobile applications.


The TCG 7.8 H2 is DEUTZ’s first ready-for-the-market hydrogen engine.

As a recognized hydrogen expert, KEYOU GmbH develops innovative hydrogen technologies, specific H2 components and combustion processes that can be used in a cost-effective manner to convert conventional engines into emission-free hydrogen engines. In cooperation with the Volvo Group, KEYOU is developing a 13-liter hydrogen engine as part of the HyCET project.

Volvo is integrating the engine and the hydrogen tanks in two 40-tonne Volvo trucks used by DHL Freight in transport logistics for the BMW Group. As one of the leading suppliers of road transportation in Europe, DHL Freight will bring its long-standing experience in road-freight transport and requirements from the user perspective to the project. In addition, as a transport partner of the BMW Group, the company will also use the first vehicles developed in field tests for shuttle traffic to supply BMW Group Plant Leipzig.


KEYOU presented a prototype 18t truck and 12m city bus equipped with a KEYOU 7.8L hydrogen engine (above) at IAA Transportation this month.


The global multi-energy company TotalEnergies intends to operate up to 150 hydrogen filling stations directly or indirectly in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France by 2030. The two new hydrogen filling stations that will be built under the HyCET consortium in Leipzig and Nuremberg will be an integral part of this European long-distance hydrogen network.



The hydrogen engine is o.k, it's the way to get hydrogen that is costly, they should investigate gold hydrogen if it can be implemented in europe. Producing hydrogen with electrolyzers is already outdated and it is costly, 17$ a kilogram compare to 1 $ per kilogram for gold hydrogen.



The $17kg (actually a bit less) for hydrogen from electrolysis you cite was actually just a spot price, largely the result of the war in Ukraine etc pushing up prices of all energy, so even though the renewables price remained fairly constant, hydrogen prices got dragged upwards as competing fuels increased in prices.

Cemvita themselves in the article you are referring to give $16.80kg for hydrogen by electrolysis last June say it was a spike.

Including distribution etc you are currently looking at something like $10kg in Europe for hydrogen by electrolysis, considerable less than reforming NG


Actually there is 4 natural gas leaks in the submarine north sea pipeline caused by explosions, it's not that that will push the price down, LOL.

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