DHL Testing Hydrogen-Powered Trucks for Long-Haul Transport

DHL Express is the first company within the Deutsche Post DHL Group to test hydrogen-powered trucks for long-haul transport. Together with his customer Apple, the truck pilot test is being carried out on the route between Breda in the Netherlands and Brussels in Belgium as part of the “H2 Share” project of the Interreg North-West Europe program. The aim of the program, which is coordinated by WaterstofNet, is to facilitate the development of low-carbon, hydrogen-powered heavy-duty vehicles for logistics and to gain practical experience in various areas. The program creates a transnational living lab and a basis for the development of the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle industry.

“In a globalized world, sustainable and clean fuels are crucial for climate-neutral logistics. This applies not only to sea and air freight, but also to the transport of road freight, as they help to reduce CO2 emissions,” explains Alberto Nobis, CEO of DHL Express Europe. “That is why we are not only committed to the electrification of our fleet, but are also investing in the development of alternative drive systems for long distances. The project proves that we can achieve truly emission-free logistics in Europe if we work together and build on experience.”

While battery-electric trucks can be used efficiently for deliveries on the last mile, fuels from renewable energies such as hydrogen are important for emission-free regular transport. DHL Express is now testing a heavy-duty vehicle with a fuel cell range extender from VDL. The truck, which is operated by the Dutch freight forwarder Nassau Sneltransport, covers a distance of around 200 km a day and crosses the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. As part of the project, the truck in Breda refueled every day at a Wystrach mobile filling station and transported shipments from Apple, a DHL Express customer. During the pilot phase, up to 350 tons of CO2 can be saved with this new technology.

In line with its sustainability roadmap, Deutsche Post DHL Group is investing heavily in the use of alternative fuels. Hydrogen opens up new markets and can contribute to green transport solutions. Findings from the project help to evaluate the potential of this fuel alternative and to support the decision-making processes.