Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - HAWL (Large scale demonstration of substitution of battery electric forklifts by hydrogen fuel cell forklifts in logistics warehouses.)

Project Context and Objectives:
Hawl, Hydrogen and Warehouse Logistic project aims at demonstrating competitiveness, technical maturity and user acceptance of hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts fleets in a logistics warehouse environment in Europe, as an alternative to battery powered trucks operation.
This 4 years project coordinated by Air Liquide Advanced Business gathers different European partners within a consortium:
- Crown and Toyota Material Handling Europe, forklifts manufacturers,
- Hypulsion, H2 fuel cells manufacturer,
- FM Logistics, Third party Logistic, end-user of the technology,
- ALAT, hydrogen refueling station supplier,
- Diagma, dealing with dissemination of the solution.

Main project objectives are as follows :
- For Hypulsion, Plug Power and OEMs, to develop and certify European ranges of fuel cell products and fuel cell ready vehicles
- For all partners to deploy 200 FC powered forklifts in multiple warehouses, assess and demonstrate the productivity given by the technology, solve the relevant safety and acceptance issues, pass required certification steps and obtain necessary operating permits.
The overall objective is to help increase awareness of the fuel cell technology value proposition on customer sites throughout Europe.

Project Results:
1- Fuel cell products development and certification:
Development of 8 types of fuel cells for the european market by Hypulsion/PlugPower and certification of 4 types of forklifts (both from Crown and Toyota with Hypulsion FC)
2- RCS (Rules, Codes and Standards) and permitting
Improvement of the RCS framework for H2 use in warehouses in France via the work performed by FM and ALAB within the French workgroup – publication of a draft reference code in January 2014.
Permitting at site 1 through the following steps :
• Preparation of the file to obtain the permit jointly (FMF / BATI / ALAB)
• Submission of the required documents for permitting which sum-up the consequences of the modifications foreseen with regards to the dangers presented by the site : July 2014 (FMF)
• Obtaining the final validation : September, 9th, 2014
• Publication of the final Decree signed by the Prefect : October, 9th, 2014
3- Site deployments:
The initial objective of the Project was to start the demonstration at FM Logistic warehouses in Poland. The detailed analysis performed onsite has shown that the sites foreseen were not appropriate to create the first European reference for hydrogen forklifts deployments in warehouses. Following this observation, FM Logistic worked together with the other beneficiaries so as to identify an alternative site. This caused an important part of the delay to the project. Several French sites have been considered and the Neuville aux Bois site has been selected.
To validate the decision, a first demonstration with a temporary hydrogen truck took place at FM Logistic premises in June 2014 and strengthened FM Logistic willingness to deploy the H2 fuel cell forklifts onsite. In parallel, the preparation phase was carried out. FM Logistic obtained the operating permit for Neuville-aux-Bois (first site) in September 2014. All the forklifts for the test phase have been tested at FM premises early December 2014. Civil work and Hydrogen piping connection have been carried out onsite together with the HRS installation. Overall, the start of the operations with one hydrogen refueling station with indoor dispensing and 10 forklifts took place at the end of February 2015 with 9 months of delay which was mostly due to the difficulty for first site identification, the availability to get the first FC Forklift for a test and civil work delays.
As this preparation phase took more time than expected and delayed the entire project, in November 2014, the coordinator entered into discussions with the FCH-JU in order to obtain a project extension of twelve months, so as to be in line with the project progress. This amendment was also necessary to include new beneficiaries from the Toyota and the FM Logistic group in the consortium. The amendment process was much longer than expected due to administrative issues to register the entities in the European system. The reporting of the first period has been submitted after the amendment validation.
Overall, the objectives dealing with the improvement of the bases for the European market (both in terms of products and Rules, Codes and Standards improvements) as well as the tasks related with the preparation phase for Site 1 were successfully achieved.

Potential Impact:
The expected final results of the project are to :
- develop and certify European ranges of fuel cell products and fuel cell ready vehicles
- to create European references of hydrogen fuel cell forklift deployment.
- demonstrate the economic sustainability of the hydrogen solution in warehouse in real size.
- help increase awareness of the fuel cell technology value proposition on customer sites throughout Europe

The installation of the solution at the 2nd site will depend on the results for site 1.

List of Websites:


Laurent Ferenczi, (Director Partnerships)
Tel.: +33608696649
Record Number: 188894 / Last updated on: 2016-09-16