Gebrüder Weiss, a global freight forwarder with a core business of overland transport, air and sea freight, and logistics, has added a hydrogen truck to its fleet of vehicles. Instead of using diesel, the Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell model – delivered to the company’s Altenrhein, Switzerland, branch – runs on green hydrogen.
“The coronavirus pandemic has diverted attention away somewhat from the climate change challenge, yet the logistics sector is continuing its work with manufacturers to find alternative ways of powering vehicles,” says Wolfram Senger-Weiss, CEO of Gebrüder Weiss. “Our aim is to gain experience using this technology to help us prepare for a situation where it may see wider use.”
The Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell is a 36-ton truck designed to transport around 25 tons of goods with a range of about 600 km. The truck is powered by a 350 kW electric motor, supplied with electricity produced by utilizing water chemically reacting with oxygen. Instead of pollutants, all that escapes the tailpipe is water vapor. The Swiss network of hydrogen filling stations is still being built, but it is comprehensive enough to enable the use of such vehicles across the whole of eastern Switzerland. At Gebrüder Weiss, the hydrogen truck primarily will be in service for a renewable energy sector customer.
For Gebrüder Weiss, using the hydrogen truck represents another step towards testing environmentally friendly drive technologies in everyday logistics. The logistics company already runs several gas-powered trucks in Austria, Germany and Serbia, as well as fully electric-powered trucks in the greater Vienna and Graz areas. Gebrüder Weiss is also a member of the H2 Mobility Switzerland Association, which designed and implemented the world’s first ecosystem for the practical use of hydrogen to power vehicles.
According to the Hyundai, 2,000 such hydrogen trucks are due to be produced and delivered by the end of the year.
Photo: At the handover ceremony of the hydrogen truck in Rothenburg, Switzerland