VERVAEKE embarks on test fleet of CO2-free long-distance transport home banner news insights

VERVAEKE embarks on test fleet of CO2-free long-distance transport

VERVAEKE will be one of five European fleets to test a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck. Five prototypes of this fuel cell truck will be tested on commercial trips for one year starting in mid-2024.

The test of one of Daimler Trucks first five hydrogen trucks will be conducted exclusively in Germany. Although VERVAEKE is promoting the use of H2 technology for ADR approval at the UN level, hydrogen cannot be tested today on transports of dangerous goods due to current ADR restrictions. VERVAEKE will deploy the new hydrogen truck to tow a PVC silo bulk trailer for its customer INEOS Inovyn, which produces PVC in Rheinberg, while the Antwerp site produces its own ISCC-certified green hydrogen.

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“We are delighted to support these fuel-cell customer trials, hydrogen is a game-changing source of energy which will transform truck technology and help us reach a Net Zero future. As both a user and producer of hydrogen, INEOS is in a unique position to support this transition and we are excited to work with VERVAEKE”, says Wouter Bleukx, Business Director Hydrogen at INEOS Inovyn.

Uniquely, it is neither compressed hydrogen nor dual fuel technology that is used. It is subcooled liquid hydrogen, which serves as the sole fuel for the vehicle and, through a fuel cell, charges a battery that drives the electric motors of the drive axle. As a result, the autonomy is higher, but the technology is also more advanced, with more parameters to monitor. For VERVAEKE, it is a great opportunity to learn about this new technology within the group.

For this test, VERVAEKE is investing in a new bulk trailer with very specific features. On the one hand, the tipping installation of the bulk trailer is driven by the truck. On the other hand, because of the heavy power requirements, it was opted to build the high airflow unloading compressor on the trailer. This allows it to operate independently of the truck. Today, the hydrogen truck is not yet capable of delivering such power. However, Daimler Truck is very interested in further developing the truck's propulsion of auxiliary equipment fitted to the trailer, in collaboration with VERVAEKE.

Frédéric Derumeaux, CEO of VERVAEKE, explains: "I am very excited about this project which fits perfectly into our sustainability strategy. For several years, we have been looking for technological innovations that make it possible to reduce our ecological footprint. Supplying heavy trucks with liquid hydrogen is a revolutionary step in that direction. As a leading and innovative transportation group, we want to be among the first to participate in such a groundbreaking project towards zero emissions and contribute to a healthier and better world for future generations. This special cooperation with INEOS Inovyn and Daimler Truck helps us demonstrate true zero-emission logistics."

The upcoming project will allow VERVAEKE to gain targeted practical experience with this new technology in real conditions. By exchanging findings between VERVAEKE, INEOS Inovyn and Daimler Truck, the technical and/or technological parameters can be adapted where necessary. The common goal of all parties involved is to further optimize the hydrogen truck through these tests, thus contributing to maximum driving efficiency and a CO2-free environment.

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