SUMMARY

The hydrogen trucks, weighing 15.6 tonnes each, offer a range of approximately 400km with a trailer and 600km without a trailer. [Image: DHL]

By Shardul Sharma

DHL Freight, the German road transport company and part of DHL Group, has introduced a hydrogen-powered truck in collaboration with commercial vehicle manufacturer Paul Nutzfahrzeuge, it said on February 8.

The deployment of this vehicle is part of a one-year pilot programme for distribution and line hauls at the Cologne location. This marks DHL Group's second hydrogen truck in Germany, with another already operational for the Post & Parcel Germany division at the Cologne West facility.

As a part of its sustainability strategy and commitment to reducing emissions to less than 29mn tonnes by 2030, DHL Freight and its divisions are testing and implementing various sustainable drive solutions. The company's approach remains technology-neutral, exploring different alternatives in the evolving landscape of road transport.

"In the realm of road transport, where no single alternative drive technology has yet emerged as the clear winner, it is crucial for us to maintain a technology-neutral approach and continue testing various sustainable solutions. This includes not only battery electric trucks but also hydrogen vehicles, which excel in longer distances due to their impressive range and quick refueling capabilities," stated Thomas Vogel, CEO of DACH, UK & IE DHL Freight.

The hydrogen trucks, weighing 15.6 tonnes each, offer a range of approximately 400km with a trailer and 600km without a trailer. Manufactured by Paul Nutzfahrzeuge on behalf of Shell in Vilshofen, Southern Germany, the trucks are based on a Mercedes-Benz Atego. 

DHL Freight already operates around 150 vehicles in Germany that are either carbon emission-free or significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes battery-electric vehicles for local transport and bio-CNG and bio-LNG vehicles for long-haul transport. The company plans to add additional pilot projects involving battery-electric vehicles for long-haul transport and hydrogen-powered tractor-trailers in 2024.