Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS


HYLIFT-EUROPE Informe resumido

Project ID: 303451
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-JTI
País: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - HYLIFT-EUROPE (HyLIFT-EUROPE - Large scale demonstration of fuel cell powered material handling vehicles)

Project Context and Objectives:
Project context and main objectives
Over recent years, the commercial case for hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicles has become increasingly attractive, with the costs of the technology becoming increasingly competitive in relation to the incumbent drive trains. These developments have led to several large scale deployments of such vehicles in the USA.

For a variety of reasons the commercial case for hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles in European operations has not kept pace, and as a result there are as yet no similar large scale deployments of materials handling vehicles in Europe.

However, the cost reductions and technology improvements required to boost commercialisation in Europe are very close. The first step to achieve commercialization of products which could be offered in Europe was the HyLIFT-DEMO project supported by the FCH JU, which deployed 11 fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles in commercial operations in a 3.5 year demonstration project.

The HyLIFT-EUROPE project represents the next logical step from HyLIFT-DEMO and addresses the topic “SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.4.1: Demonstration of fuel cell-powered Materials Handling Equipment vehicles including infrastructure” in the 4th call of the European Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking Implementation Plan (AIP 2011). HyLIFT-EUROPE will provide the next step towards market deployment by increasing the volume beyond 200 vehicles.

Lessons learned from HyLIFT-DEMO have shown that in order to demonstrate such a high number of vehicles, several vehicle types are needed to satisfy a wide range of customer needs. Thus, in HyLIFT-EUROPE a total of two materials handling vehicle manufacturers are participating, offering different vehicle segments, including forklifts and warehouse trucks (STILL) and airport tow tractors (MULAG).

HyLIFT-EUROPE will deploy 5-20 new and dedicated state-of-the-art materials handling refuelling solutions in a variety of locations with commercial potential across Europe, providing cost reductions through volume.

The fuel cell technology to be demonstrated will be sourced by the vehicle OEMs according to the FCH JU rules (“principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness”) from the just developing market or via existing cooperations with fuel cell system suppliers. The systems will be fully integrated and operated in the above-mentioned materials handling vehicles by the participating vehicle OEMs.

The hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) to be deployed will use the latest refuelling technology. The large number of HRSs will facilitate reductions in capital costs through volume savings. To arrive at the target hydrogen price of 8-12 €/kg (average target < 10 €/kg) dispensed at the pump, vehicle deployment locations will be chosen close to hydrogen production locations wherever possible in order to attain the lowest possible hydrogen supply cost.

The project partners cover the entire value chain and all the disciplines and technologies required for providing fully working hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicle solutions. The value chain consists of both large and SME companies, who will collaborate in this project with the aim of establishing a strong European presence in the hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicle market.

In keeping with the call objectives, the principal objective of the HyLIFT-EUROPE project is to deploy large numbers of fuel cell materials handling vehicles and associated refuelling infrastructure, with the aim of bringing the European materials handling vehicle market closer to commercialisation through volume cost reductions.

Project Results:
Project achievements in 1st & 2nd reporting period
In general the achievements are:

• Presentation of MULAG’s hydrogen powered fuel cell airport tow tractor at the inter airport fair, one of the world’s leading trade fairs for airport equipment
• Vehicle trials of MULAG’s airport tow tractor at Cologne/Bonn Airport and Hamburg Airport
• Elaboration on detailed demonstration planning comprising a detailed planning of the various interfaces between the project work packages
• Elaboration on the identification of vehicle-users and demonstration sites across Europe
• In the second half of 2014 STILL has performed several workshops with potential customers focusing future drive systems including fuel cell systems
• For two large customers from the automotive industry STILL has provided its fuel cell forklift truck for trials lasting six weeks
• Demonstration of STILL hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts with an Air Liquide HRS at Carrefour premises (France) in OCT 2014
• Efforts to integrate a vehicle-user in the consortium so as to deploy 28 forklifts in France by mid 2015 in a logistics environment. It will be the first deployment of hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts in a green-field site in Europe. On-site operations should start in SEP 2015
• Completion of HRS site selection process and initial safety case approval for installation of an airside HRS at Heathrow airport, leading to a first draft of the “Installation of airside hydrogen refuelling stations in airports: lessons learnt and best practice guide”
• Process to agree on an applicable Monitoring and Assessment Framework (MAF) for the assessment of the vehicles and the hydrogen refuelling stations to be demonstrated in the project nearly finalized based on the framework used in HyLIFT-DEMO
• Presentation of the HyLIFT-EUROPE project at several events

In its first two years HyLIFT-EUROPE has unfortunately not progressed according to the original project plan and still faces several issues and challenges which require significant changes.

One of the challenges of the project derives from the fact that STILL, now in contrast to HyLIFT-DEMO being a partner in the project, will source the fuel cell systems not from H2 Logic as initially planned but from HyPulsion as a result of a purchasing process in the early phase of HyLIFT-EUROPE. This change still causes significant delays as implementation, testing and certification procedures both for the fuel cell system and the overall vehicle had to be started from the scratch. Since STILL’s customers are used to high class and absolutely safe products, the new vehicles comprising a HyPulsion fuel cell system have to go through the whole internal qualification and certification procedures as well as the complete performance testing. Significant delays in the project schedule and the progress of forklifts and warehouse trucks to be offered to customers for the HyLIFT-EUROPE demonstrations had mainly been caused by the above mentioned change of the fuel cell system supplier, first vehicles for trials were ready only after the CeMAT fair in May 2014.

Another significant challenge was experienced by MULAG related to the performance of the hydrogen powered fuel cell airport tow tractor. The trials at the Cologne/Bonn Airport and at Hamburg Airport disclosed that significant improvements are still necessary with regard to the fuel cell system in order to reach the specified requirements for airport operations. This includes increases to both the battery capacity installed and the amount of hydrogen that can be stored in the system.

A consequence of the situation described above was that some of the partners left the project in 2014 and needed to be replaced. In two thorough Contract Amendments Air Products and Copenhagen Hydrogen Network were replaced by Air Liquide and H2 Logic was replaced by Dantherm Power.

Potential Impact:
Expected final results and potential impacts
The detailed expected final results of the project, which also align with the call objectives, are:
• Demonstration of more than 200 units of fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles at vehicle-user sites across Europe. This will prove the feasibility and reliability in genuine daily heavy commercial use in the rugged industrial and airport operating environments. The significant volume will help to lower the costs of materials handling vehicles in Europe (and associated refuelling infrastructure) through volume production and to achieve genuine parity with the costs of the incumbent drive trains in most locations. This will be one of the first major commercially viable deployments of fuel cell powered materials handling vehicles in Europe and will facilitate the early introduction of hydrogen as a fuel for other industrial and airport materials handling vehicles.
• Demonstration of state-of-the-art supporting hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at 5-20 vehicle-user demonstration sites throughout Europe. This will prove the safety and practical case for the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel in the safety- and reliability-critical industrial and airport airside environments. Additionally, the deployment of new hydrogen refuelling stations providing affordable hydrogen to selected European locations which have the potential to achieve genuine parity with the costs of the incumbent drive trains will enable OEMs to further deploy hydrogen fuel cell materials handling vehicles at these locations and help to extend the European hydrogen fuel network.
• Validate Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) & path towards commercial targets. Data acquisition will be conducted on the demonstration vehicles, allowing the validation of performance targets on durability, efficiency and costs for the hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The project will also validate TCOs at different vehicle-user sites, for all kinds of materials handling vehicles to be demonstrated. This will provide recommendations for next steps towards reaching targets enabling a supported market deployment of fuel cell materials handling vehicles.
• Plan and ensure initiation of supported market deployment of hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles. As part of this project, vehicle manufacturers will plan for their future deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and suggestions for European / national / regional deployment support mechanisms will be developed. The project and demonstration volume in itself will provide a first step towards this commercialisation by selling the vehicles at commercially competitive prices directly through OEM manufacturers and thereby introducing a new route to market for fuel cell materials handling vehicles. The project will allow European vehicle manufacturers to develop the know-how required to build hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles.
• Best practice guide for HRS installations. A best practice guide will document in detail the lessons learned from obtaining safety approval as well as construction and operation permits for the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in industrial and airport environments, to be shared with potential future vehicle-users thereby streamlining the procedures for future deployments.
• European dissemination and supporting of the European industry. HyLIFT-EUROPE represents one of the largest European trials of hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles so far and will also be one of the first demonstrations of airport tow tractors. These facts and project results as well as experiences will be disseminated throughout Europe and beyond targeting early adopters of hydrogen vehicles, focused on European airports and large industrial users of materials handling vehicles, as well as on key policy and industry stakeholders, and the general public. Demonstration of the vehicles at high-profile airports and large industrial companies will ensure maximum exposure of the project and will be supplemented by other targeted dissemination events, as well as a project website. The trials of the vehicles in numerous locations will also be used as a marketing opportunity of hydrogen powered fuel cell materials handling vehicles. The demonstration and dissemination efforts will support the European industry in expanding their present lead within the materials handling sector to also include fuel cell drive trains. HyLIFT-EUROPE will allow European SMEs and industry to gain the expertise required for taking a lead role in the deployment of further fuel cell materials handling vehicles, either within Europe, or through the worldwide export of products and services.

Project public website

List of Websites:

Reported by

Ludwig-Boelkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
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