Daimler Truck AG, IVECO, OMV, Shell and the Volvo Group have committed to work together to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe. The initiative is called H2Accelerate (or H2A).

The companies say hydrogen is an essential fuel for the complete decarbonisation of the truck sector.

Achieving a large-scale roll-out of hydrogen fuelled trucks is expected to create new industries: 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. H2A participants believe that synchronized investments across the sector during the 2020s will create the conditions for the mass market roll-out of hydrogen fuelled heavy duty transportation which is required to meet the European ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.

The decade long scale-up is expected to begin with groups of customers willing to make an early commitment to hydrogen-based trucking. These fleets are expected to operate in regional clusters and along European high capacity corridors with good refuelling station coverage. During the decade, these clusters can then be interconnected to build a truly pan-European network.

Throughout the scale-up, the participants said support from the public sector will be required. 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.

Comments from participants

"Climate change is the challenge of our generation and we are fully committed to the Paris Climate Agreement for decarbonizing road transport. In the future, the world will be powered by a combination of battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles, along with other renewable fuels to some extent. The formation of the H2Accelerate collaboration is an important step in shaping a world we want to live in," says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of the Volvo Group.

"The prize is clear. By boosting scale in a big way, hydrogen fuelled trucks will need to become available to customers at or below the cost of owning and operating a diesel truck today. This means truck customers will need to have access to a fully zero emissions vehicle with a similar refuelling time, range and cost range compared to the vehicles in use today. To achieve this ambition a clear regulatory framework is needed, including policies addressing the supply of hydrogen, hydrogen fuelled trucks, refuelling infrastructure and consumer incentives in a coordinated way," said Elisabeth Brinton, Executive Vice President for New Energies at Shell.

Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: "The participant companies in H2Accelerate agree that hydrogen-powered trucks will be key for enabling CO2-neutral transportation in the future. This unprecedented collaboration is an important milestone for driving forward the right framework conditions for establishing a mass market for hydrogen-based trucking. It is also a call to action for policymakers, further players involved and society as a whole."

Angelika Zartl-Klik, OMV SVP HSSE & New Energy Solutions: "H2 Accelerate is playing a pioneering role and OMV is making an important contribution here. In order to achieve the climate targets, we will need any low-carbon technology. Hydrogen is an option for the climate-friendly mobility of the future."

Gerrit Marx, President Commercial & Specialty Vehicles at CNH Industrial, stated: "The widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel-cell technology in heavy-duty transport is a function of the necessary infrastructure. We also need very concrete projects to demonstrate with hauliers and other stakeholders in the industry that this solution is financially and operationally viable. The ground-breaking H2Accelerate collaboration will create the conditions for this to happen and accelerate the transition to zero-emission transport."

H2Accelerate Plan

Phase 1 Phase 2
Rollout of first stations and trucks Europe-wide coverage
100s of trucksSecond half of 2020s: Achieve volume output '000s/pa
>20 high capacity stationsRapidly reaching > 10,000 trucks
Proving high capacity station conceptsEurope-wide coverage of major travel corridors
Selective locations/clustersHigh capacity/reliability stations

Source: H2Accelerate