Colruyt Group has recently become Europe's first to test a 44-ton all-electric truck with a hydrogen "range extender". The retailer has been investing in hydrogen solutions for some time now.
The new truck, developed by VDL Groep in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and the trial are part of the European Interreg demonstration project Waterstofregio 2.0. What is remarkable about the truck is the fact that the batteries get recharged by the hydrogen-based fuel cell whilst driving. This system allows the vehicle to cover longer distances compared to ordinary electric trucks, which is crucial in freight transport.
Colruyt Group will trial the hydrogen fuel truck in its daily logistics. The diversity of the group creates possibilities to thoroughly test different user cases (e.g. deliveries to shops). In addition to the obvious environmental gain, the new truck also contributes to Colruyt Group's ambition to implement more silent deliveries.
Other hydrogen projects
"We aim to gain knowledge and experience to prove that hydrogen technology is efficient for heavy-duty logistics. We strongly believe that the upcoming green hydrogen-based fuel will play an important role as a sustainable option in the future: renewable and CO2-free emissions. We are very excited about this European test project where we integrate hydrogen-based technology to make the heavy-duty logistics industry more sustainable," explains Regine Vaneghem, the retailer's head of transport.
Since 2004, Colruyt Group has already invested six million euros in innovative hydrogen projects. The group has been producing green hydrogen itself at its site near Brussels for several years now. In the retailer's distribution centre, several forklift trucks also run on hydrogen, and around twenty cars from the group's fleet make use of the green fuel.